Could you spot the signs of victims of abuse?
Would you know if a friend, neighbour or colleague was being abused, either emotionally or physically?
A powerful campaign has been launched across the borough urging people to report signs of abuse and neglect, with residents being encouraged to spot signs and symptoms of the different types to help people to recognise when they, or someone they know, might need help and support.
Wigan Safeguarding Children Board and Wigan Safeguarding Adult Board have joined together for the first time for the ‘Together Against Abuse’ initiative with support from partners including Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Leigh Centurions.
Because of the complex nature of the subject, often abuse and neglect go unnoticed and undetected with people frequently reluctant or unable to report.
This can mean that problems faced by those who have been subjected to abuse or neglect can have long lasting negative impacts on their lives.
Abuse can take many forms including physical, psychological, domestic or financial abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect including self-neglect and discrimination among others. Residents are being urged to be the ‘eyes and ears’ in their local community and are encouraged to report any concerns they have about children or adults.
Safeguarding Board partners will communicate the message to communities by touring the borough on Wigan Council’s ‘Deal Bus’ throughout the summer.
The Independent Chair of both Safeguarding Boards, Dr Paul Kingston, highlighted the timeliness of the campaign.
He said: “At a time when there are revelations about abuse and neglect at the forefront of society; this campaign is extremely relevant.
“Safeguarding is not solely the domain of professionals, it is everyone’s business.
“This campaign will inform the public what they can do to stay vigilant, and to report any concerns that they have so that individuals and families living in the borough feel safe and are safe.”
People are being urged not to wait but to report a safeguarding concern by contacting: Wigan Council initial assessment teams: Children and young people: 01942 828300; Adults: 01942 828777; GMP: 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency or the National Domestic Abuse free 24 hour helpline: 0808 2000 247