Although rare, some carers experience abuse at the hands of the person they care for – physical, psychological and sexual.
Whilst such abuse may occur due to commonly understood dynamics of domestic abuse and may pre-date the caring role, factors related to care-giving can increase the likelihood of abuse. For example, where the person who is being cared for has health and care needs that are too complex for the carer, there is a history of substance misuse or when help and support from outside, including breaks, are rejected.
What should I do?
The first thing you need to do is tell someone. This might seem very difficult – you may be frightened that it will make the abuse worse. You may worry about what will happen to you or the person you care for if you raise your concerns. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed about what has happened. You may think that the person you care for is not to blame for their actions because their condition means they are in pain, scared, resentful or unaware. You may think that you will not be taken seriously or believed.
But you do need to take action. Abuse is never acceptable, regardless of what the other person may be dealing with. You deserve to live a life that is safe and free from the fear of being harmed. Your concerns will be taken seriously, and action will be taken to protect you and stop the abuse.
If the abuse is happening due to a person’s medical diagnosis, there may be medication that can help.
The best way to stop it from happening is to talk to someone who can help.
Ways in which you can safely report abuse:
- Contact emergency services. If you are in immediate danger or are having a medical emergency dial 999.
- Talk to someone you trust – try to find someone who will understand your situation and have the ability to act quickly.
- Talk to your GP. Tell them clearly what is happening and ask for their help to make it stop. They will be trained in how to deal with situations like yours and will always take your concerns seriously.
- Report any crimes to the police. Call 101 if you think a crime has been committed.
- Get in touch with Social Services. Adults: You can report abuse of both adults and children directly to Sandwell Council here.
- Ask for ANI at the pharmacy. If you ask for “ANI” (pronounced Annie) at the pharmacy, the pharmacist will recognise that as a code word meaning Assistance Needed Immediately. They will then escort you to a private room where they will be able to assist you and offer advice.
What if the person is experiencing a mental health crisis?
- Call 111 (option 2) Support is available 24/7.
- If they have a diagnosis of dementia, contact the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline free on 0800 888 6678. Open Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm.