South Lanarkshire Council has joinedwith 13 other councils to produce a TV campaign that they hope will offer hope to thousands of Scottish adults who suffer verbal, physical, sexual and financial abuse every day. It follows research carried out by Mencap, the charity for people with learning disabilities and their families, which found that 90per cent of people with learning disabilities reported being bullied in the last year.
Charity Action on Elder Abuse, recently revealed that property and cash worth nearly £8million, including 31 homes, had been stolen from UK pensioners in just one 12 month period. The figures were generated from 471 calls to the charity’s helpline.
The Scottish adverts focus on the issues of the financial abuse of older people, 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. Jim Cameron, Chair of the South Lanarkshire Adult Protection Committee said it’s important to consider the needs of adults. He said:
“We have joined forces through this campaign to raise awareness about these issues and would urge people take action and call social work if they are being subjected to harm themselves or know someone else who is being abused. Everyone is aware of the need to protect children, but legislation has been introduced in Scotland that allows councils to support and protect adults who are being harmed.”
He added: “Adults can be vulnerable if they develop dementia, or they suffer from mental illness or where alcohol or drugs have taken their toll. “Unfortunately, there is often someone who is willing to take advantage of the vulnerable.
The two week campaign is a partnership between 14 Scottish local authorities, who have pooled their resources to reach out to more than 2.3million adults who will see the TV adverts.