SAFE week to highlight importance of protecting vulnerable people

Brought to you by the News Guardian.
Brought to you by the News Guardian.

A campaign to raise awareness about protecting vulnerable people from abuse and harm is returning for its fourth year.

SAFE week, which runs until June 11, will focus on safeguarding children as well as protecting vulnerable adults.

As part of Safeguarding Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) week a host of activities will take place while St Mary’s Lighthouse will be lit purple.

White flags will also be raised outside buildings to highlight issues around domestic abuse.

Coun Carole Burdis, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “Everyone deserves to live their life free from harm and abuse but sadly that isn’t always the case.

“Events like SAFE week are a great way for us to highlight this issue and let people know that it is okay to speak up.

“We have a great range of support across our region and they can help you get through any problems you may have.”

As the lead organisation in safeguarding adults and young people at risk of harm, North Tyneside Council organises SAFE week in conjunction with multi-agency partners from health, police, Newcastle and Northumberland local authorities, as well as a range of voluntary and private providers.

Chief Inspector Steve Hails, from Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, said: “We are pleased to support our partners in helping to keep people safe in Northumbria.

“Victims are our absolute priority and we are working with some fantastic organisations and partners to be able to provide a full wrap-around of support for those who have been affected by abuse.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of domestic or sexual abuse – recently or in the past – to come forward and report it to police.

“Our specialist safeguarding officers are here to support victims and each case is treated in a highly confidential and sensitive way, with the welfare and safety of the victim being of paramount importance.

“We want to stress that everyone has a part to play in tackling abuse and we would ask if you witnesses something that doesn’t feel right with an adult or child, please report it to police. Safeguarding really is everyone’s business.”

Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, institutional, discriminatory and neglect.

Signs of abuse may include:

• Multiple bruising or finger marks;

• Injuries which cannot be properly explained;

• Deterioration of health for no apparent reason;

• Loss of weight;

• Inappropriate or inadequate clothing;

• Withdrawal of changes in usual behaviour;

• An unwillingness to be alone with a particular carer;

• Unexplained shortage of money.