Victims of abuse urged to come forward

MORE victims of abuse are being asked to come forward and tell council bosses about their torment.

Peter Morgan, the chairman of an independent body which aims to guard against abuse at home, said they can only help people if they get calls.

Safeguarding Adults, which is based at County Hall, saw the number of calls rocket 25 per cent last year to 1,474.

It was reported in August that the rise has been put down to the recession.

The most common victims are pensioners and the majority of calls are for physical attacks, followed by neglect and then financial abuse.

Some 33 per cent of the abuse occurred in someone’s own house, while 43 per cent of incidents were in a care home.

But Mr Morgan, chairman of a board which monitors safeguarding adult services, believes more needs to be done to promote it.

The department can intervene by sending a social worker around to see the victim and putting some protection measures in place, as well as refer it to police.

Mr Morgan said: “If we don’t get the calls coming in we can’t respond to it.

“It’s important we raise the profile of it as much as we can and we are looking to link up with the district councils to do that.

“There is a fear that if people come into a service for help, things are taken away from them and they somehow lose control over their lives.

“The intention is quite the opposite – it’s about empowering people.”

The county council says during the 2011/12 financial year, 35 per cent of cases were confirmed as certain cases of abuse.

The outcomes included prosecutions, disciplinary action where staff members were involved, referral to bodies such as the Court of Protection and help from Victim Support.

Anyone can alert the service to suspected abuse of a Worcestershire resident, from family members to neighbours.

Councillor Philip Gretton, cabinet member for adult social services, said: “Nobody should be discouraged from reporting an alert.”

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