Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Board will be publishing a series of 'Spotlight Features' each month, to highlight specific topics. This will include news articles, events, campaigns and information on certain safeguarding subjects. The links below provide indepth information for practioners and the community at large across Warwickshire. The aim of which is to heighten awareness and understanding of Safeguarding.


February 2018 - Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence


Week commencing 5th February is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week in the UK. The Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Board would like to take this opportunity to put a spotlight on the issue of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence against adults with care and support needs. We have put together some information, news articles and a list of upcoming events in relation to the topic, to help expand understanding and raise awareness.

It includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting. It includes penetration of any sort, incest and situations where the person causing harm touches the abused person’s body (e.g. breasts, buttocks, genital area), exposes his or her genitals (possibly encouraging the abused person to touch them) or coerces the abused person into participating in or looking at pornographic videos or photographs. Denial of a sexual life to consenting adults is also considered abusive practice. 
Any sexual relationship that develops between adults where one is in a position of trust, power or authority in relation to the other (e.g. day centre worker/social worker/residential worker/health worker etc.) constitutes sexual abuse.

The #metoo campaign is a hot topic in the media at the moment, and with it being Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness week in February, the WSAB want to take this opportunity to highlight sexual abuse and sexual violence against adults, particularly those adults with care and support needs and older people (which is rarely reported in today’s media).

  • Adult has urinary tract infections, vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases that are not otherwise explained;
  • Adult appears unusually subdued, withdrawn or has poor concentration;
  • Adult exhibits significant changes in sexual behaviour or outlook;
  • Adult experiences pain, itching or bleeding in the genital/anal area;
  • Adult’s underclothing is torn, stained or bloody;
  • A woman who lacks the mental capacity to consent to sexual intercourse becomes pregnant;
  • Sexual exploitation.

If you are reporting sexual abuse or sexual violence against yourself or that of another adult, there are many ways to do this, have a look at the list below to see what would be preferable to your circumstance:

  • Call 999 to report a rape or attempted sexual assault, as soon as possible after the crime. If the offence has recently happened:
    • keep the clothes you were wearing and don’t wash them - the police may need them as evidence for the investigation
    • try not to shower as there may be evidence which the police can use.
  • If you don’t want to report it to the police - You can go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) such as the Blue Sky Centre in Nuneaton, which provides people who have experienced rape or sexual assault with support and advice to assist in their recovery. Find one nearest to your location by clicking here
  • Alternatively, you can contact the following support organisations:
    • Rape Crisis - Rape Crisis England & Wales is a feminist organisation that exists to promote the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced sexual violence, to improve services to them and to work towards the elimination of sexual violence. 
    • Victim Support - Victim Support (VS) is the independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Its specialist teams provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable people to cope and recover from the effects of crime. 
    • RoSA - RoSA is an independent charity offering free confidential support for anyone who has experienced the trauma of rape, sexual abuse or sexual violence. We work throughout the county of Warwickshire supporting women, men, young people and children from age 5. Its support is also offered to family members, partners and carers. 
    • Safeline - Safeline is a specialised charity working to prevent sexual abuse* and to support those affected in their recovery. This includes working with people whose mental health issues (manifesting for example as self-harming) suggest that they may be vulnerable to abuse. 
    • Refuge Warwickshire - If you are experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire, Refuge-Warwickshire Domestic Violence Service can support you and your children to keep safe. Refuge-Warwickshire Domestic Violence Service is a county-wide service which provides support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire. 

The Survivors Trust (TST) is a UK-wide Charity that is the national umbrella agency for specialist organisations who give support to survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse throughout the UK and Ireland. They have kindly sent us a list of their upcoming training workshops for 2018, click here to download. 

iHasco will be offering discounts on their Sexual Harrassment courses during Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. Click here to see more.

On Monday 5th February there will be a Light Up The Night event held in Market Harborough and London (as well as various other locations across the UK) to help raise awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence. Click here to see the event poster for Market Harborough and here for London, and here to find other events being held across the country.

Previous spotlight themes:

The Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Board would like to put a spotlight on our priority of Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP), as well as the process of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs). We have put together some information, and news articles in relation to the topic, to help expand understanding and awareness.

What is meant by ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’?
Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is about having conversations with people about how we might respond in safeguarding situations in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives and working alongside them. It is a shift in culture and practice in response to what we know makes safeguarding more or less effective from the perspective of the person being safeguarded. In other words, it is a shift from a process supported by conversations to a series of conversations supported by a process.

What are Safeguarding Adult Reviews?

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) provide a way for all partner agencies to identify lessons that can be learned from particularly complex or serious safeguarding adults cases, where an adult with care and support needs has died or been seriously injured, and abuse or neglect is suspected.
SARs provide an opportunity for partner agencies and their staff to learn and make improvements including in policy, practice and procedures, where necessary. SARs are not about attributing blame, but are about learning to prevent similar circumstances in the future. Several cases in Warwickshire have been considered for a SAR. Partner agencies should consider if the most serious cases meet our SAR criteria to help partners identify and apply learning from them.

Case Studies, Posters and Promotional Materials

Resources to support Making Safeguarding Personal
Case Studies on Making Safeguarding Personal

MSP and SARs in the News

‘Hidden’ mum found weak and emaciated in her own home in Milton Keynes

Safeguarding adults who have mental capacity: key principles

Community approach to social work delivers more personalised care

Poor multi-agency working a factor in case where self-neglecting woman died

Assaults between care home residents reported daily

Safeguarding Adults Annual Report Now Published

Useful websites for further information on MSP and SARs

Local Government Association - Making Safeguarding Personal
Safeguarding Warwickshire - Making Safeguarding Personal
Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board - Learning from experience database
Safeguarding Warwickshire - Safeguarding Adult Reviews

Saturday 2nd December 2017 is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Board would like to take this opportunity to put a spotlight on the issue of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. We have put together some information, news articles and a list of upcoming events in relation to the topic, to help expand understanding and awareness.

Spotting the Signs of Modern Slavery

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority are a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) governed by an independent Board, who works in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers in the UK.

On their website they have ‘Spot the Signs’ to recognise someone who may be a subject to Modern Slavery. In short the signs to look out for are:

  • Restricted Freedom  
  • Behaviour shows fear and anxiety   
  • Live in poor or substandard accommodation   
  • A lack of belongings    
  • Have no access to their earnings   

For a further detailed list please look at this PDF leaflet from the The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Videos and Written Case Studies

The following videos and case studies will help you understand the different forms of modern slavery and how they translate in day to day life with some typical examples of the environments in which this is most prevalent.

VIDEO 1 - Examples on how to act when spotting the signs of Modern Slavery:

CASE STUDY 1 - BEN's STORY: "A British man called Ben, who was unemployed and living on the streets of a major UK city, was approached at a soup kitchen and offered work and accommodation by a couple who ran a block paving business. Ben was socially isolated, having broken up with his girlfriend and lost his job in a short space of time: he lacked any form of support network. Seeing no other option, he agreed to go. He was taken to a site many miles away where, upon arrival, he was subjected to intimidation and violence. He was forced to work paving driveways, and was paid little or often nothing for his labour. He was terrified of the consequences of trying to leave, so submitted to this abuse for a long time." - 
Cheshire Police

VIDEO 2 - Tackling Modern Slavery in the Construction Sector - a victim's story:

CASE STUDY 2 - JONAS'S STORY: “They were taking nearly everything I earned. I lived in fear.” - 
50 for Freedom

VIDEO 3 - Modern Slavery Guidance for NHS Staff:

VIDEO 4 - Modern Slavery Guidance for Local Government:

VIDEO 5 - Modern Slavery Guidance for Emergency Services:

CASE STUDY 3 - MELODY'S STORY: "While grieving for her mother who had just died, Melody was tricked into coming to England from Nigeria to search for her grandmother. On arrival, she was met by a man who took her to a brothel and told her she would work there until she repaid her flight ticket. Every protest from Melody increased the debt she owed.Having suffered horrifically, after four years Melody was finally rescued when the police raided the brothel, and she was brought to Unseen. At our safe-house, Melody has made steady progress and received specialist help for her healthcare needs, anxiety and flashbacks. She enrolled on in-house education and external training courses in the community. However, when she came to move on from the safe-house, she needed ongoing support to secure housing, financial support and employment." - Unseen UK

VIDEO 6 - A video from the Trafficker’s perspective:

Posters and Promotional materials

The following posters and leaflets are available for you to share within your organisation and/or community, to spread awareness and understanding how to spot the signs of modern slavery in your local area.

Modern Slavery Awareness & Victim Identification Guidance.
Help for Adult Victims of Modern Slavery
Modern Slavery is closer than you think

The Anti-Slavery Commissioner has a whole webpage dedicated to resources on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Click here to find out more.

Training and E-learning available

The Local Government Authority (LGA) are conducting Modern Slavery Workshops at various locations across the UK in 2018. Who should attend? Elected members and officers with responsibility for: Community safety; Safeguarding vulnerable individuals; Safeguarding children; Police and crime commissioners and their officers. To find out more go to their website by clicking here.

Warwickshire County Council also provide an e-learning module via their Warwickshire Interactive Learning Management (WILMa). If you have access to WILMa, just search for ‘slavery’ and you will find a choice of two e-learning courses on Modern Slavery.

Modern Slavery in the news

The following articles illustrate that modern slavery remains a problem worldwide and show the work being done to support and bring about justice for the victims of this crime.

Why celebrities are sharing posts about ‘slave auctions’ - Newsbeat, BBC

If only Slavery really had been abolished - The Guardian

Nine Polish nationals appear in court charged with modern slavery offences - Birmingham Mail

Modern Slavery: An everyday crime - The Telegraph

Useful websites for further information on Modern Slavery

West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Multi-Agency Anti-Slavery Partnerships

Modern Slavery GOV.UK

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking - Safeguarding Warwickshire

During October we will be focusing on Mental Health, due to it being World Mental Health Day on 10th October. This day is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as the variety of Mental Health charities across the UK and internationally. The theme for World Mental Health Day in 2017 is "mental health in the workplace". WHO have said the following;
"During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall well-being. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity."

The Mental Health Foundation have resources on managing your mental health in the workplace, as well as a variety of different publications to help maintain your well-being. They will also be running their famous Tea & Talk event across the country, click here for more information on the event.

Coventry and Warwickshire Mind have several events occurring during the week of 9th-15th October to help raise awareness of Mental Health issues, and encourage the public to get support. Click here to see more about their events, and here for the support they can offer to you if you are struggling.

Please click here for the list of Wellbeing Hubs and Mental Health Support Centres within Warwickshire.

For further reading on Mental Health in the news then click the below articles:



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