Protecting Vulnerable Adults from Abuse (Safeguarding)

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
79 posts
While I don't dispute that vulnerable adults need protection from abuse in all its forms, I do have issues with vulnerable adults abusing other vulnerable adults in our society and ultimately getting away with it while the victim gets punished.

The thing is though, how do we treat this??? After all, these people need the protection of the law more than most yet the laws that protect them can also be manipulated to suit a vulnerable abuser's whims because of all the grey areas and legal loopholes that they contain.
You are right, Beck, to highlight the paradox of the law being manipulated by, or on behalf of, some vulnerable individuals in order to protect themselves, at the same time as getting away with a misdemenaour against another vulnerable adult.

When the sexual assault happened on our son, the case went to Crown Court, but the perpetrator - another man - was acquitted on the basis that he 'didn't know' that our son was a 'defective' [as defined in the 1956 Sexual Offenders Act [now defunct, thank goodness!].

Well, neither did we know that our son was a 'defective' [you wouldn't would you!], but that is beside the point; the point is that the perpetrator did wrong, and it dosn't matter what 'label' is put on an individual; it was the act itself. It transpired during the proceedings, however, that the perpetrator was himself classed as 'having a learning difficculty' - but only a mild one. The lawyers had manipulated the legislation in order to 'defend' this person; but this 'person' had known exactly what he was doing; and was fully au fait with what the consequences would have been had he been found guilty.

One of the key issues, in this case, was a complete lack of understanding by the whole of the judicial system [that is, from policemen, and lawyers, right through to top judges] as to the nature of learning difficulties, and autism in particular. Although some strides have been made in this field, of creating better understanding, and therefore the needs within the system, of such vulnerabale adults, there is still a long way to go.

Personally, I'm not sure we will ever reach a state of complete fairness; ignorance and prejudice will always pervade an already flawed system. Nonetheless, we are right to continue to advocate for fairer application of the rules.

[If anyone is interested, and dosn't already know, there is an organisation that can help and advise in this particular are of work - that is, Voice UK, based in Derby. Details on the web.] Hope this helps.
Sorry to hear about your son's experiences, Hillside205. I must admit that this sort of crap makes me really mad. Like the case where a 15 year old with Down Syndrome was sexually abused by her Educational Psychologist who was acquitted because the jury didn't believe her. The only good thing is that he was never allowed to work with kids again.

Here's a link to Voice UK:

http://www.voiceuk.org.uk/
I now have a new chapter to write! The Local Government Ombudsman wrote a provisional report into my complaint. without ever visiting my son to seek his views personally, as he can't read or write. His speech might be imperfect, but he can certainly get his views across. The LGO failed to understand that my son often asked me to speak for him as it was easier for me to explain. When he asked me to ask his carers to do something, they should therefore do what I asked, especially as I was the one paying them! Anyhow, I sat and seethed over this for a while, and then I finally realised what was wrong. The LGO had a duty to make "reasonable adjustments" for my son under the Disability Discrimination Act, he should have gone to see my son, so now I've made a formal complaint to the Head LGO!!! Meanwhile, someone is coming to see me from the County on Monday to find out where they went wrong in the past, and what lessons can be learned for the future. There are some very simple reasons here, one key meeting between the care provider and the County didn't make proper arrangements for care and transport. Nearly all the later problems stem from this, and poor communication and record keeping.
More details next week.
bolwlingbun, it might be easier for members to follow the progress of your complaint if it was all in one place, your thread on the subject is here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18819&hilit=ombudsman
Thanks Parsifal,
I couldn't remember where the original thread was, so I'll ask the Mod to move it.
Hi everyone, this is such an emotional subject for me, and I would also highlight the other side of it. A few years ago, my husband and I were carers for my mother in law. She was 96 and had dementia so she came to live with us as she was lonely and couldn't cope on her own. However, out of sheer spite, my sister and brother in law made an allegation against us, that we were abusing her. We willingly contacted social services and said they could visit and inspect her at any time without warning as the allegations were untrue. My sister in law said that all we wanted was her money, dispite the fact that (A) she didn't have any as another member of the family had already spent it all, and (B) my husband was not in her will, nor did he want to be. We were quite happy for the rest of the family to squabble over what was left.
We naievely thought that they would see there was no abuse, and that would be an end to the matter as we were totally open about everything but there followed 18 months of unbeleivable persecution and harrasement with threatening behaviour from the sister inlaw's thug son, spying and lies fromher dispicable daughters, we had social, the police, the doctors, banging on our door regulary at all times of the day and night accusing us of locking her in, hitting her, and leaving her alone. We lodged a complaint against social services, we wrote letters to the sis in law trying to appeal to her better nature, we appealed to the police, our MP, the cab, all to no avail.
In the end, it was taking a toll on our health, and worried about my husband having a heart attack, we had to put her in a home. Social told me it would take a few weeks so I would have plenty of time to prepare her but the very next day, my husband phoned me at work to say they had arrived without warning and taken her. They didn't give me time to say goodbye, and they had told the home she was an emergency and "at risk". She died 7 weeks later.
I still firmly believe in the things that are put in place to protect vulnerable adults. But there has to be some common sense.
Bowlingbun, I hope all your problems get sorted quickly as this is all stress you and your son could well do without.
Love Phoebe x
Hi Pheobe

I have just read your story and can believe every word of it. I had some unbelievable stuff when caring for my dad but nothing as bad as that. I had letters from Social Services stating that there was nothing wrong with my dad in 2008. He had been medically retired is 1976 and been on Sickness Benefit since then. 10 days after the letter my dad had his second heart operation. 6 months before his death there was a statement from Social Services that I was hindering my dad's pregress by demanding a stair lift. He was 86 and I am only wee and had to push and heave him upstairs every night. These people are showing us clearly how stupid they are. The trouble is that there are more of them ganging up on each individual caring situation and even when they are proved wrong they can never face that reality so they lie about everything.

We have saved the country millions and billions and we dont even get treated decently.

Duncaring
Hi Duncaring, I was a bit worried about doing that post as I didn't want to offend anyone and it is a very emotional subject. Also, when I read my own words, it all sounds so excagerrated, yet every bit is true, and more! There was one time, when we had taken mother in law out xmas shopping in her wheelchair and a careless shopper hit her leg with bags, causing blood and a small wound. Social services came round to do a report. I told them what had happened. Mother in law even said the same (unusual for her, with her dementia). The two social workers looked at each other. One said, "I think the base of her zimmer frame is very sharp" "yes" said the other. "she cut herself on it, walking in the house". And then they proceeded to write that in the report!!! in front of me, as though I wasn't there. I was incandescent with rage and frustration, but you cannot express it, as they mark you down as "violent" They just make it up as they go along and there is nothing you can do about it.
My heart goes out to you, as you know what it is like. And, as you say, on top of that, we are saving them mllions.
Phoebe x
Hi Pheobe

I bet there are a few others on here who could say similar.

They show themselves up because they dont think anyone else could possibly have a brain, or even be much more intelligent than them. They really hate that!

Duncaring.
79 posts