Speak up for adults in harm’s way

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Health officials in East Renfrewshire are taking up the local front on a campaign to raise awareness of adult harm.

The national Adult Support and Protection campaign covers different types of harm including physical, psychological, financial and sexual harm, as well as neglect.

With an estimated 300 referrals to council social work departments every week — 16 of which will result in investigation — the aim is to encourage others to act on gut feelings that someone may be experiencing, or at risk of, harm.

Councillor Alan Lafferty, convener for health and social care, said: “If you thought a child was at risk, you would do something about it. But many people are not aware of adult harm.

“It’s not always easy to tell if an adult is in trouble — but there are signs. For example, a person may have unexplained cuts and bruises, or refuse to talk about injuries. They may be failing to look after themselves, or are giving money to people for reasons that might concern you.They may appear quiet or nervous, or may constantly have people at their house.

“Adult harm can affect anybody, but people who can’t look after or stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk.”

John Paterson, chair of East Renfrewshire Adult Protection Committee, added: “We know sometimes people don’t want to get involved, for fear of being seen to intrude on other people’s privacy.

“But it is vital that they do raise concerns. You don’t need to provide your personal details and the authorities will check the situation sensitively and support will be given, if needed.”

Anyone with concerns about an adult they know can contact police on 101 or visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/erapc.