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Your rights Protection from harm

Protection from harm

Protection from harm

The Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 gives greater protection to adults at risk of harm or neglect.

The Act defines adults at risk as people aged 16 years and over, who:

  • may be unable to safeguard their well-being, rights, interests or their property
  • may be harmed by other people
  • because of a disability, illness or mental disorder are more at risk of being harmed than others who are not so affected

It places a duty on local councils to inquire and investigate in cases where harm is known or suspected. Local councils have powers to visit and interview people, arrange medical examinations, examine records and issue protection orders. They must also consider whether there is any need for advocacy and other services, for example help with medication, or support services.

Older people can also be at risk of harm, but they are among the least likely to report it. Many people don't realise the different forms harm can take or how to get help and support. Harm may include:

  • physical harm
  • psychological harm
  • financial harm
  • sexual harm
  • neglect

Harm can occur anywhere, and the person causing harm may be a stranger or may be known to the person being harmed. They may be a relative, a friend, a volunteer or a professional.

If you are being harmed or suspect that someone you know is being harmed, it's very important to tell someone who is trained to listen and can give you emotional support and appropriate information.

There are lots of places you can get advice and help, including your local council's social care department. You should also make sure that if the person who is causing harm has been involved in caring - and was paid for this - the abuse is reported to the police and Disclosure Scotland.

The information was last updated on: 24th May 2017

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