Speak up to help abuse victims

If you suspect a man or woman is the victim of abuse don’t hesitate to speak up in is the message from a leading West Norfolk nurse.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Lead Nurse for Safeguarding Adults Jerry Green helps to give advice and control back to the people of all ages who are suffering from some form of abuse.

Every year, hundreds of women and men, who are enduring physical, emotional or financial abuse or neglect, share their stories with staff while being treated at the hospital.

Modern slavery, domestic abuse and self-neglect are some of the forms of abuse adults in Norfolk are suffering from.

Jerry is supporting the county council’s Safeguarding Adults Week, which ends later this week.

He said: “Every year in Norfolk, there are 3,000 referrals made to Social Services for men and women who need help.

“Abuse can happen anywhere, it could be happening in the street where you live, and I would encourage anyone who fears that this is happening to speak up.

“We always tell people to go with their gut reaction.  If you feel that something is not right then please report it to the Speak Up line in Norfolk on 0344 800 8020. The worst thing to do is turn a blind eye.”

Jerry has been a nurse for 32 years and took over the safeguarding role fulltime in 2013 after the hospital saw a growing need.

Older people stuck in abusive relationships are among the issues Jerry has been called into help with.

He said: “Some of the domestic abuse victims have no concept that they have a choice as their partner is the one who makes all of the decisions.

“We had a case a while ago about a pensioner who did not want to return home but felt that she had to.

“An important thing about our safeguarding approach is that we make it personal.  I went to speak to the patient and was able to make it clear that they was free to do anything she wished.

“We empowered that person to believe that they could live where they wanted. Often people in that situation get very downtrodden if someone bombards you with negative comments and actions then it tend to get in your brain. They lose their self-belief and confidence and the concept to make a decision or argue.”

Financial abuse is another problem. While some people fall foul of fraudsters over the phone and internet but others find money is being siphoned out of their accounts by someone close to them.

Jerry said: “We are also seeing more self-neglect, which can include people with drink and drug problems and hoarders.”

Jerry and the safeguarding team work closely with other organisations in the county, including Social Service and the Police.

He said: “Working in safeguarding is very rewarding as you are helping people in dreadful situations talk about their worries while also providing support and helping them to move onto something better.”

If you or someone you know is or maybe being abused contact the Norfolk Speak Up line on 0344 800 8020.

                                                           —ENDS—

 Pictured is Lead Nurse for Safeguarding Adults Jerry Green

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