What to do if you suspect sexual abuse

If you are worried that you, your partner or someone you know is at risk of sexual abuse, it is important to share these concerns. Talk to a friend or family member, or to a professional such as a GP, a social worker, or a care home manager if you are concerned.

If you are worried that you, your partner or someone you know is at risk of abuse, it is important to share these concerns. Abuse can be physical, emotional, financial or sexual. Many types of abuse are a criminal offence and, in cases of abuse, the local authority or police may need to intervene.

Abuse may not always be obvious, especially if it is not physical. For example, sexual abuse may involve violence or force, but making a person watch or participate in activities such as watching pornography is also abuse. If you are unsure whether or not something is ‘abuse’, consider whether everybody involved:

  • has the mental capacity to be able to consent
  • is not being exploited or being taken advantage of
  • feels comfortable in the relationship
  • is acting in a way that is in keeping with their values.

Talk to a friend or family member, or to a professional such as a GP, a social worker, or a care home manager if you are concerned.

You may also find it helpful to talk to Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456 or Action on Elder Abuse. If you do decide to talk to professionals, it is important to respect the dignity and privacy of everybody who is involved.

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