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If you’re worried about an adult at risk contact Adult Safeguarding on 023 9268 0810.

If you’re worried about a child, contact Children’s Social Care.

If you’re worried about someone who may be in an abusive relationship, contact our Domestic Abuse services.

No abuse is acceptable. Protecting adults at risk is everyone’s responsibility. Do not assume that someone else is doing something to help.

For information about safeguarding in Portsmouth, and the work of the multi-agency Portsmouth Safeguarding Adults Board, visit the Portsmouth Safeguarding Adults Board website.

What is abuse?

Abuse is anything that harms another person, even if it is unintentional. Abuse might be deliberate, or through neglect or ignorance, and can happen anywhere, by anyone.

Everyone has the right to live free from harm and abuse. Safeguarding adults means protecting your right to live in safety. When you need care and support you need to be able to trust and depend on everyone you rely on for help, and have the power to make your own choices.

What to do if you are being abused, or you suspect someone else is being abused

Phone the Adult Safeguarding Team on 023 9268 0810 or email

If you think a crime has been committed, contact the police straight away.

Call 101 if you are not in immediate danger, or in an emergency call 999.

If you have difficulty using the telephone, consider registering with the police direct access line.

If you are injured, call 111 for health advice, or in an emergency call 999.

If someone discloses that they have been abused, listen patiently, and reassure them they are doing the right thing by telling you. Don’t ask questions, but write down what you’ve seen or heard, and what happened next as soon as you can. Try to:

  • Avoid making comments or judgements
  • Remember you may have to share the information, do not promise to keep secrets.
  • Resist confronting the abuser, as you may increase the risk to the person or yourself

What we will do

We will work with the adult at risk and others who know them, to find out what has happened. If a crime has been committed, we will also work with the police to:

  • Plan what to do to stop the abuse and protect the person in the future
  • Support the person and their carers through the process
  • Try to ensure the abuser is not able to harm anyone else
  • Give advice on other ways to get help

Cross-cultural safeguarding

We recently received Big Lottery Funding for a specialist safeguarding project with black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Abuse occurs within all communities, but it’s important to recognise the different forms abuse can take, and the different barriers to seeking help that people can face within their community.

Together with our volunteer Safeguarding Champions, we produced safeguarding information in a range of languages.

For details of other organisations that can give advice and support, search ‘abuse’ on the Healthwatch Service Directory.