Abuse is a term used to describe the mistreatment of people. Use these pages to find out about abuse of vulnerable people over 18. If you're concerned about a child's welfare, please contact children's social services.
Everyone is entitled to live their life in safety without being mistreated, hurt or exploited by others. But some people can find themselves in situations that make them more vulnerable and less able to protect themselves from harm or mistreatment.
People are often more vulnerable as they get older, or because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment or some form of illness.
Mistreating someone who is vulnerable is known as 'abuse'.
And failing to properly look after a vulnerable person in your care is known as 'neglect'.
Both abuse and neglect of vulnerable people are never acceptable.
These pages will tell you more about what abuse and neglect are, who is particularly vulnerable to abuse, and how to get help and advice if you or someone you know is vulnerable and being mistreated, abused or neglected.
It's important to remember that if you are being abused, it's not your fault. Your local council takes the abuse of vulnerable people very seriously - they will listen to your concerns and give you a prompt response.
If you think that you or someone you know is being subjected to abuse then please go to our page What to do if you think someone is at risk of being abused for advice and details on whom to contact.
The other pages in this section will tell you more about abuse and neglect.