Safeguarding is about protecting the right of an adult, young person or child to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
It is also about doing as much as possible to prevent abuse happening by raising awareness and understanding.
Safeguarding is about working together to support people to make decisions about the risks they face in their lives and protecting those who lack mental capacity to make these decisions.
Safeguarding during the coronavirus crisis
Safeguarding risks may increase during isolation for vulnerable children and adults.
- Children may spend more time online making them more vulnerable to online bullying, sexual grooming, abuse and exploitation;.
- High-stress home environments increase the risk of domestic violence and abuse;
- Some people try to take advantage of others through scamming or financial abuse.
Safeguarding is everybody's business
We all have a role in spotting when things aren’t right. During the current crisis, it is especially important we are all aware that:
- Abuse and neglect are likely to increase due to isolation and stress;
- Victims are likely to feel much more isolated, vulnerable and exposed and may believe there is little help out there;
- Professionals have less opportunities to identify abuse so individuals and communities can help by being aware of potential indicators of abuse;
- There are signs that someone may be suffering abuse and if you spot these, please report it or discuss it with someone;
- Services that can help are still operating and will work with the individual to help keep them safe;
- The Government is providing extra help and resources for victims of abuse, particularly domestic abuse;
- Domestic abuse victims are permitted to escape their partners or ask for help during the current ‘lockdown’;
- Arrests will continue to be made of perpetrators of abuse.
We all have the right to live our lives free from violence, fear and abuse; to be respected by other people and to make choices about our lives and the things which affect us. We have a right to live in safety. This Toolkit offers information about Safeguarding and guidance on what to do if you are a victim of abuse, or if you think someone else might be a victim.
If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website, visit the Women’s Aid website here for instructions on how you can reduce the chance of someone finding out what you have looked at online.
If you feel that you or someone else is in danger please always call 999. If you can’t speak then cough or make a noise, then tap 55 on keypad and follow instructions.
- Keep your phone charged and with you at all times;
- Try to keep your distance from abuser at home and, if safe to do so, go for a walk or drive;
- Make sure you have your (and your children’s) important documents in a safe place;
- Avoid rooms in the home where the abuser could access a weapon (kitchen, shed etc.) or where they could lock you in;
- Identify a safe room. Does the door lock and is there a phone signal or outside window/exit so that you can call for help or get out?;
- Plan your escape route(s) and think about where you would go if you needed to leave;
- Agree a code word NOW with a trusted friend/family member/neighbour to let them know you are safe or to signal that you need them to call for help. Or;
- agree to place an object in plain sight (in window etc.) to signal help is needed;
- Show your children how to call 999 and how to ask for help. Tell them not to let the abuser in;
- Agree a code word with your children to let them know when they need to leave the house.