The Wolverhampton Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub receives hundreds of calls every year about adults who may have been abused in some way, with the council, Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together, the police and other partners working hard to ensure residents are safe.
Abuse can include being physically or emotionally harmed, financially or sexually exploited, neglected or discriminated against or the victim of domestic abuse, while those most at risk include people with disabilities, mental health problems, dementia or those who are physically frail.
The abuse can happen anywhere – often where someone should feel safe, such as in their own home – and can be perpetrated by people they think they can trust, like a relative, friend or professional.
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We are committed to preventing abuse in Wolverhampton, no matter what form it takes and who the victim may be.
"Sadly, many vulnerable adults can be the victim of abuse, often from a family member or someone claiming to be their friend, and it's something we need everyone to be alert to.
"Abuse can be a single one off act or something that happens over weeks, months or years. It can be accidental or deliberate, and just because there is no physical injury doesn’t mean there has been no abuse.
“The message is clear – if you are worried about an adult at risk, please report your concerns to the relevant agencies so that they can ensure our city’s residents are properly protected.”
Sally Roberts, Chair of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together Executive, said: "At this time, when vulnerable people are less likely to be seen by everyday health and community services, I would urge everyone including neighbours, friends, hairdressers, and shopkeepers, to make safeguarding your business.
"Take time to look out for signs of abuse – see Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together – and to ask, 'How are you? Is everything OK at home? Are you worried about anything?'.
"Help is on hand from local services and each contact you have with someone who is a vulnerable could be the opportunity to end abuse and help someone to put their life back together again."
If you have concerns that an adult with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect, please visit Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together or Protecting adults from abuse, call 01902 551199 in confidence, or 01902 552999 outside normal office hours. In an emergency, always dial 999.