Vulnerable adults TV campaign being repeated after increase in referrals

A hard-hitting TV campaign offering hope to some of the most vulnerable people in society is to be repeated after a dramatic rise in referrals.

In February, Inverclyde Council backed the adverts aimed at adults across the country who are the victims of verbal, physical, sexual and financial abuse.

There have been on average 32 referrals to the Adult Protection team per month compared with an average of eight per month in 2009/2010.

One adult who was referred to the service said: “Life is a lot better now because I can do what I want, I have my freedom. Having social work help has made a big difference. They listened to me and the social worker has helped me and been great.”

The adverts concentrate on three key areas of adult abuse — the financial abuse of the elderly, the day-to-day abuse suffered by adults with learning disabilities and how long-term alcohol abuse can affect a person’s ability to look after themselves.

Health and Social Care Convener Councillor Joe McIlwee said: “The dramatic rise in referrals doesn’t mean that there has been a sudden increase in adult abuse – rather that people are now aware that help is available. We have always found that adults who are suffering abuse have been reluctant to come forward but I think the success of these adverts has been to inform those around them that they can do something. The majority of new cases have come as a result of police being contacted by friends, family or neighbours so I am pleased we have another opportunity to reinforce the message that help is out there.”

It is thought around four per cent of people over the age of 66 have been the victim of financial abuse and in more than half of cases the person behind the abuse is a son or daughter. Nine out of ten people with a learning disability have reported being bullied in the last year.

The adverts, being shown on behalf of 24 Scottish councils, will be broadcast to nearly four million adults on STV from 22 August for two weeks.