Keeping vulnerable adults safe

Are you, or someone you know, a vulnerable adult who's at risk and needs help?

If so, we can provide information and help.


Any adult can be at risk of abuse but the following are likely to be particularly vulnerable:

  • a person with mental ill health, physical or learning disability, illness or age related frailty
  • someone who is less able to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation
  • people dependent upon carers or others who are under stress
  • people living in difficult community settings such as shared hostels
  • people who due to their race, faith, religion or sexuality are at risk of being subjected to hate crime.

All forms of abuse are unacceptable and we all have a responsibility to report all incidents and concerns of suspected abuse.

Types of abuse

Abuse is defined as any action that intentionally harms or injures another person. There are several major types of abuse:

  • financial abuse
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • domestic abuse
  • substance abuse
  • elder abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • discriminatory abuse
  • wilful neglect
  • hate crime.

Keeping people safe

If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, abuse or neglect please tel: 999 in an emergency. If you would like to discuss your concerns, please contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190.

Safer Derbyshire (opens in a new window) has lots of information about keeping people safe and the range of help and support available. Our keeping people safe leaflet is attached to this page.

Hate crime

Hate crime is subjecting people to abuse because of their race, faith, religion, disability or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Hate crime can take many forms:

  • physical attacks
  • harassment
  • threats
  • disputes with your neighbours
  • people swearing at you or making abusive remarks
  • people doing things that frighten, intimidate or distress you
  • bullying at school or college
  • arson
  • spitting, insulting gestures.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is used to describe violence from one partner towards another. It can be against a man, woman, child or an elderly parent or relative. It can include a range of treatment, mental and sexual abuse as well as physical assaults.

A guide has been produced to support women who have been the victim of domestic violence and are afraid to leave because of financial difficulties. The guide is attached to this page. There is also a list of organisations on this page, both national and local who can help.

Safer Derbyshire (opens in a new window) has more information about domestic abuse, including making a safeguarding referral.

Violence against men

If you are a man experiencing domestic abuse in Derbyshire there is help available. Contact Derbyshire Support and Advice for Men (SAM) tel: 08000 198 668. The men's advice line is available for anyone experiencing abuse or for relatives or professionals who have a concern.

Local contacts

Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline tel: 08000 198 668 available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Safer Derbyshire (opens in a new window) aims to reduce crime, disorder and the fear of crime in Derbyshire by providing support, advice and leadership to partners and communities.

Derbyshire Friend (opens in a new window) is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support service for the people of Derby and Derbyshire, tel: 01332 207704, fax: 01332 296879, email: info@gayderbyshire.org.uk

Victim Support East Midlands helps all victims and witnesses of crime. They are an independent charity. Tel: 0300 303 1947.

Sexual Abuse and Incest Line (SAIL) is a registered charity run by women for women. Based in Chesterfield, they offer free specialist counselling support for women who have experienced childhood abuse. They are funded to support women who live in the Chesterfield, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, High Peak and North Derbyshire Dales areas. Tel: 01246 559889.

Derbyshire Rape Crisis (opens in a new window) support victims of sexual violence and rape, tel: 01332 372545

SV2 - Supporting Victims of of Sexual Violence (opens in a new window) can be contacted on tel: 0845 129 0111 or 01773 573840 or 01773 573841

You may also like to find out how we make sure children are protected

Help for domestic abuse offenders

The respect freephone line is aimed at perpetrators of domestic abuse, helping them to stop the abuse and change their behaviour. Tel: 0808 802 40 40 if you need help.

The Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol (opens in a new window) is a national scheme that has recently been introduced by Derbyshire Constabulary and other local agencies.

The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a Second World War veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia and repeatedly went missing from his care home whilst trying to return home.

The protocol encourages carers of people with dementia or other mental vulnerabilities to prepare for the eventuality of the person going missing.

National contacts

Care Quality Commission (opens in a new window) (CQC) ensure that health and social care services in England are meeting national standards and you can report to them if you feel services are failing.

Action on Elder Abuse (opens in a new window) work to protect and prevent the abuse of older adults. They provide a confidential freephone which provides information, advice and support to victims and others who are concerned about or have witnessed abuse. Tel: 080 8808 8141.

GOV.UK Forced Marriage (opens in a new window) provides information and advice for people who do not (or, in cases of people with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to their marriage and pressure or abuse is used.

Stop Hate UK (opens in a new window) operates a 24-hour free phone service for victims and witnesses. Stop Hate UK is independent of the police and will not pass on callers details without consent. If a caller wishes Stop Hate UK will report the incident to the police on their behalf. Tel: 0800 138 1625. If you have hearing difficulties please use text relay on 18001 0800 138 1625.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation (opens in a new window) aims to stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance by organising education focus groups and campaigning for changes in legislation.

True Vison (opens in a new window) aims to provide information about hate crime and how to report incidents.

Relate (opens in a new window) offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation and consultations. They offer support by phone, web or face-to-face.

Women's Aid (opens in a new window) is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. They support a network of over 350 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.

Rape Crisis (opens in a new window) offers a range of support, counselling, advocacy and information for women and girls of all ages who have experienced any form of sexual violence, whether recently or in the past. They also provide specialist rape crisis centres which are independent from the police, criminal justice system, health or any other statutory agencies. Freephone tel: 0808 802 9999.

The NSPCC (opens in a new window) and its ChildLine helpline service provide advice for both adults and children. If you are worried about a child contact the NSPCC trained counsellors for 24 hours per day, seven days per week help, advice and support tel: 0808 800 5000. ChildLine tel: 0800 1111.

Survivors UK are a Nationwide organisation providing resources for men who have experienced any form of sexual violence.

Female Genital Mutilation is a helpline specialising in responses to female genital mutilation (FGM). They operate 24 hours per day seven days per week and are staffed by specially trained child protection helpline counsellors who can offer advice, information and assistance to members of the public. Tel: 0800 028 3550 or email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

Information on other websites