If you think you, or someone you know, are being abused or neglected you should tell someone you trust. This could be anyone from a friend, a teacher, a family member, a social worker, a doctor, or a police officer. Ask them to help you stop it, report it or make a complaint – taking the first step by reporting it can help stop the abuse.
Supporting people when concerns are raised about abuse or neglect can be very difficult and distressing for everyone involved. Deciding what to do can be stressful, particularly if the person you are concerned about is reluctant to accept support. If you are not sure what to do you can always seek advice.
Don't wait for 'proof' of your suspicions. If you are worried about an individual, tell someone – the quicker you report it the better.
Reporting Child Abuse
If you have any concerns or suspicions around the abuse or neglect of a child, contact the NSPCC free helpline service to speak to a counsellor – available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The report can remain anonymous if you want, and all communications will be recorded and kept on record for 15 years.
Their services provide support for anyone worried about a child and advice for parents and carers. As well as this, they offer consultations with professionals who come into contact with abused children, and more information about child protection and the NSPCC. They will listen to your concerns, offer advice and support and can take action on your behalf if a child is in danger.
Additionally, you can report a concern online. NSPCC will read it within 24 hours and decide what action needs to be taken.
Remember, if you think a child is in immediate danger:
- Call the police on 999
- Call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
For more information head over to their website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
Reporting Adult Abuse
When reporting the suspected abuse or neglect of an adult, the local authorities are the place to go. This authority refers to your local council. They have social workers who are on hand to deal with cases specifically centred on abuse and neglect.
Every council has their own way of dealing with concerns and allegations, as well as their own helplines and websites that you can use to get in touch with the right people. Never wait to be sure though - if you have concerns, report them.
To find your local council's website and information, go to: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council