The following cases describe the type of harm that people can experience. Although these case studies do not cover all the possible situations that can occur, they provide information about the signs to look out for if a person is concerned that someone they know is being harmed.
If you or someone you know is being harmed, call 01382 434019.
Examples of adults at risk of harm:
- Siobhan is 22 years old and has profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. She lives in a care home where she has her own room. Gregory is seen coming out of her room. On investigating, it is clear that Siobhan has been sexually abused. A medical examination shows that this has been occurring for a considerable time, though she had no means to protect herself or tell staff what is happening.
- Colm is 26 years old and has Asperger syndrome. He is isolated and lonely, and when he meets a group of people visiting his town from London he is excited that he at last has “friends”. He is sexually abused by both men and women in the group which he dislikes but interprets their actions as indicating they want him to be a friend. When he tries to prevent their behaviour they tell him they will hurt him badly if he leaves them or tells anyone.
- Jim is 82 years old and lives with his son and daughter-in-law, having been persuaded by them to sell his own house and effectively make the proceeds available to them. They continue to demand money from him. When he objects, they say they will not let him continue living with them and he will be packed off to “a home”.
- Tariq is 42 years old. He has bipolar disorder and when "high" tends to talk to anyone he encounters in the community. On several occasions he has started talking to young women in pubs or ‘bus stops innocently touching them on the arm or shoulder. On three occasions a husband or boy friend has intervened thinking Tariq is chatting up the woman. When he persisted they have hit him, once with a broken bottle that slashed his face.
- Bert is 75 years old and has Alzheimer disease. He lives in a care home and has become increasingly difficult to support. He hates being bathed or having his clothes changed and lashes out inflicting injuries on care staff if he catches them. Protocols are in place indicating how to deal with such episodes. While changing his clothes, a member of staff, Martin, receives a heavy blow to his nose. Angrily he grabs Bert and pushes him to the floor, stripping off his clothes while pushing his knee into Bert’s back.
- Joyce lives in her own flat in the community, working in a small laundry. At 23 years old she has never had contact with services for people with intellectual disabilities, though social workers who have had contact with her refer to “learning disability?” in the case notes. She has had a number of men friends, all the relationships ending badly. She thinks of herself as unattractive and useless, but when Frank takes an interest in her she readily responds. Subsequently he starts bringing other men to her flat and begins prostituting her. She hates this, but rather than lose Frank continues to accept this treatment.
- Duncan follows older people home from the local shops and having identified where they live, calls on them to tell them their roof or windows needs repair, always demanding payment up front before disappearing. He indicates he has a special discount for pensioners. He is friendly and seems to be concerned for the older people's "plight". Joan, a woman in her 80s, doesn’t want to offend him by asking for identification or further information, and invites him in for tea. She tells him, though, that she really doesn’t want any work doing. That evening she finds her purse has disappeared.