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There are many different barriers to people reporting abuse. These include:

  • A poor understanding of what constitutes abuse and neglect, therefore they are unsure what abuse actually is and when to report it
  • The belief that older, more vulnerable adults do not understand their rights and therefore do not know they can report abuse
  • Reluctance to report abuse due to fear of reprisal
  • Inadequate training about abuse, how to document it, and to whom it should be reported
  • Unclear policies and procedures for reporting or investigating incidents
  • Poor or inappropriate documentation of abusive incidents, some individuals state they do not understand the approaches that would be taken by the organisations to whom they report abuse
  • Gaps in the system for responding to abuse.

In order to overcome potential barriers it is important that if you report an incident to a line manager and nothing occurs, you should then continue along the management chain until the appropriate action has been taken.

If action is still not taken, you may have to go to an external organisation, like the social services, police, local authority, or inspectorate for the service in which the abuse has taken place.

It is important that you always follow organisational procedures, if you are unsure ask someone to clarify the correct procedures to follow.