Concerned about an adult?

If you have an emergency, call the Police on 999. If it isn’t an emergency but you need help fast, call the Police on 101.

If you suspect that an adult in Bristol with care and support needs is being abused or neglected but their health or welfare is not in immediate danger, contact Care Direct at

More information can be found on our Report a concern page

This BSAB Easy Read guide, for adults at risk and their families, explains how to recognise signs of abuse and report it.

Safeguarding adults: Information for the public

Adult abuse

An adult at risk is an adult who:

  • needs care and support, whether or not the council provides it
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • can’t protect themselves from abuse or neglect because of their care and support needs

This BSAB Easy Read guide, for adults at risk and their families, explains how to recognise signs of abuse and report it.

Abuse is when anyone violates someone else’s human and civil rights. Abuse doesn’t have to be done on purpose; the most important thing is whether the adult at risk has been harmed. Abuse can be:

  • physical: any form of assault, over-medication, unnecessary restraint or bad manual handling
  • sexual: rape or any sexual act that the victim didn’t consent to or couldn’t understand
  • psychological or emotional: threats, intimidation, coercion, harassment or bullying
  • financial: theft, borrowing money and not repaying it, and any pressure about wills, property, possessions or benefits
  • neglect: ignoring medical or physical needs, not providing access to care, withholding essentials such as medication, food, water and heating
  • discriminatory: all forms of harassment based on a disability, ethnicity, gender or sexuality
  • institutional: repeated poor care and treatment of vulnerable adults, and unsatisfactory professional practice
  • modern slavery: slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude
  • self-neglect: not caring for personal hygiene, health or surroundings, including behaviour like hoarding which puts the person, or others, at risk

Abuse can happen in many places:

  • at home
  • in sheltered housing
  • in supported living settings
  • at day centres and other day services
  • in care homes
  • in hospitals
  • wherever anyone depends on care from other people


Resources and information

Other organisations that can offer support to adults at risk include:

SEND local offer

The Findability resource contains information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, including all schools and SEN schools in Bristol.

Safe City resources

Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board has produced an information leaflet and poster as part of the ongoing campaign to stop adult abuse.

Download the poster

Download the leaflet

Self-neglect leaflet

Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board has produced a useful leaflet that provides information around self-neglect and what to look out for.

Download the leaflet

Information about Mate Crime

See the below links that contain information about Mate Crime. Mate Crime is a type of abuse where people exploit friendships with vulnerable adults.

BSAB Mate Crime Leaflet

Friend or Fake

Getting Away With Murder

In 2018 the BSAB published a Thematic Mate Crime Review into the prevalence of Mate Crime in Bristol. You can read the full report here.


Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services (BHC&DS) Information Sheet

BHC&D is a collaboration of charities with SARI as  the administrative lead and jointly deliver the local Hate Crime and Discrimination Services. An Information leaflet has been produced to explain who are the partners, the services they offer and contact details.

Download the leaflet


Building the Bridge is the organisation that works to keep Bristol communities safe against radicalisation and extremism. This leaflet lets you know what help and information is available if you have concerns that someone may be vulnerable to radicalisation.

Keeping Bristol communities safe from radicalisation