At risk adults need our protection

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The abuse of adults must be addressed in the same way as for children to offer help where needed but also respecting individual autonomy, writes Colette Kelleher.

For some, abuse and neglect are unfortunately every day and ordinary.

Abuse comes in many forms and from many quarters — €50 pinched from the weekly pension, extra pills in the daily dose, chemical restraint to keep a person quiet. A fist to the face in the place of words.

Some of those who are abused have no voice of their own, and no one to voice their concerns. Some are physically unable to reach out for help, while others lack the capacity to do so.

A recent Red C poll, commissioned by the National Safeguarding Committee, found that one in three people believe that the abuse of vulnerable adults is widespread.

Some 80% of people are unclear about what constitutes psychological or financial abuse. This week the National Safeguarding Committee is kicking-off a national awareness campaign focussing on these issues.

While we don’t have comprehensive statistics on abuse and neglect, the data that we have paints a very bleak picture. Last year, the HSE received nearly 8,000 reports of adult abuse.

View the full story on The Irish Examiner Website here.