Concerned for yourself:  

Sometimes it is not easy to accept that you are being abused, and it can be even more difficult to tell someone else.

This can be because the person who is doing it is a close family member or a friend, or it can be because you think people will laugh at you or ridicule you or it will affect how your community or friends think about you. It is often for these sorts of reasons that abuse goes unchallenged.

Worried manBut if you are being forced to do things you don’t want to do, if someone is threatening, or taking your money or property, then you are being abused. If someone is causing you harm or distress, then you are being abused.

A good place to start is to ring our helpline if you can

Our number will not appear on your telephone bill, and our staff and volunteers understand the difficulties you might face and the options you may be able to consider. They live in your nation so can relate to your situation, and they will work things out with you, helping you decide what you want to do. But you will never be asked to do anything that you feel unable to do.

We will always seek to respect your confidentiality, but there may be rare occasions when this is not possible (for example, if the abuse you are experiencing might affect other people too).

Ring our helpline 080 8808 814 or email us at [email protected]

Things to think about

If you feel that you might be at risk of abuse you should consider the following actions, which might help to reduce that risk. Often abusers are only successful because they keep you quiet or stop others from finding out what is happening to you. It is therefore wise to:

  • Maintain contact with any friends or neighbours that you have known for a long time and who you are confident can be trusted
  • Keep in contact with those friends and neighbours if you move to a new address. If you cannot go to see them, try to write letters regularly telling them about your new life and what is happening to you.
  • Encourage friends to visit you at home and try to join a local group or club. The more interaction you have with other people the less chance there will be for you to become isolated.
  • Have regular medical or dental appointments. Dentists and GP’s are people who should be able to talk to you, or spot signs that you are being abused.
  • Make sure that people are aware that you know where you have put important documents or property, and always open and post your own mail. If you have to rely on others to post your own mail then try to use more than one person. Don’t leave cash, jewellery, or valuable possessions lying about.
  • Talk to a lawyer about arrangements that you can make for any future possible disabilities or problems, and always get legal advice before making arrangements for someone to take care of you in exchange for your property, possessions, or money. Don’t allow anyone to keep from you the details of your finances or property management.
  • Don’t sign anything unless it has been checked by someone not involved and independent of the issue. If someone asks you to sign a Power of Attorney, always get independent advice to make sure you understand what it means.

For further advice see our nation specific sites for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland