Staying Safe

 

When you start working with us, we will always prioritise helping you to stay safe.

Safety can relate to:

Your physical health

Your mental health

Your relationships

Your behaviours

Other people’s behaviours

Safety in your home and in the community

 

We will listen to you and work with you to:

Help you prevent or manage anything that could potentially cause yourself or others harm

Make sure that you feel safe inside and outside your home

Get you help, if you are at risk of harassment, crime or violence

Respond to any concerns you may have about your relationships, neighbours or anyone else who could cause you harm

Access the safest available accommodation

 

What can we help you with?

Child protection and safeguarding adults

 

We have a legal duty to protect you if you are aged under 18 or classed as a vulnerable adult – but we will help everyone stay safe regardless of our legal duty.

Everyone that works for 1625 Independent People is trained to be able to support you to stay safe and they all have the same responsibility to help keep you safe, e. g. your support or housing worker, our volunteers and young ambassadors, our administrators and maintenance team, our managers and our board of trustees.

Your worker will use risk assessments to find out what is going on and agree risk management and / or support plans with you to help you stay safe immediately and then prevent or manage any ongoing risks – you have a right to have these plans regularly reviewed and the right to be given a copy (or ask for a copy to be given to any other professionals working with you).

 

If we are worried that you or someone else is at risk of serious harm we will try and discuss this with you first – sometimes this isn’t possible and we may have to tell someone else immediately so that we can keep you or them safe – but we will always deal with the situation sensitively.

When we think it is the right thing to do – we will work closely and cooperate with social workers, the police, other involved agencies and your family to make sure that everyone is working together to keep you safe.

You can also read this young person’s guide (working together to safeguard children) to find out what to expect about services working together.

What can I do if I am at risk of abuse or harm – or if I know someone who is at risk?

No one has the right to hurt you or make you do anything that feels wrong.

If you or someone you know is being harmed or abused in any way the most important thing to do is to talk to someone about it.

 We always take every report, allegation or suspicion of abuse seriously – we will respond quickly – we will listen so we understand what you’re saying and feeling.

 

If you or someone else is at risk immediately (and it is safe for you to do this)

  • Call the police – 999

If you or someone else is not at risk immediately

  • Tell your worker, their manager or anyone else at 1625 Independent People
  • Or call us on Freephone 0800 731 7213 or 0117 317 8000 (or out of hours – 0117 927 6600)
  • Tell anyone else you trust – for example, any other workers you have
  • Call Childline – free at any time on 0800 111
  • Call the police – 101 (to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response)
  • Visit the NSPCC website
  • Our website also has useful links to other organisations that you might want to contact yourself if you are worried about your or someone else’s safety

Online and mobile safety

 There are lots of websites you can look at to help you understand how to stay safe online – please see the useful contacts section.

No one has the right to make you do anything that feels wrong online or on your phone – so if you feel you need support. the most important thing to do is to talk to someone you trust about it.

 Our workers will always listen to you, take what you say seriously and respond quickly to help keep you safe.

Please also see the anti-harassment, bullying and antisocial behaviour + the healthy relationships sections.

Definitions of harm and abuse

There are lots of types of abuse – which can be someone harming you or not taking action to stop you from being harmed.

Not all abuse is physical – it can be emotional or psychological, financial, discrimination or threats of harm.

These are the most common types of abuse:

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Sexual exploitation or child sexual exploitation
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage
  • County lines – gangs and criminal networks
  • Child criminal exploitation
  • Domestic abuse
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
  • Neglect
  • Hate crime
  • Radicalisation and extremism

If you want to find out more about what these things mean – these links give more information: 

Definitions of things to look out for  

Harassment / sexual harassment

  • Any of these examples might make you feel uneasy, frightened, violated, intimidated, humiliated or offended – whether done on social media, your phone, by email or online in any way:
  • Continued requests to hook up even after you’ve said no
  • Unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive chat, photos or videos, including explicit stuff
  • Non-consensual sharing of intimate images or videos, e.g. revenge porn
  • Suggestions that you will be rewarded for giving sexual favours to someone or you will be put at risk if you don’t give them
  • Insulting, insensitive or intimidating, mocking or offensive comments/jokes / pranks – including about yours or someone else’s disability, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality or religion
  • Outing or threatening to out someone

 

Bullying

  • Bullying can be – offensive, insulting or malicious language or messaging – that could make you feel vulnerable, upset, distressed, humiliated, undermined or threatened.
  • Bullying can happen once or it could be repeated and it can happen at any time.
  • You might not know who is bullying you which could be even more worrying.

Examples include:

  • Someone trying to extort information from you, make you do something you don’t want to
  • Someone who is excluding you from things, e.g. online gaming, friends’ groups or other group activities
  • Sending threatening, upsetting or abusive messages – either directly to you or behind your back
  • Creating and sharing embarrassing or upsetting images or videos
  • Trolling
  • Setting up hate sites or groups
  • Creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass someone or cause trouble using their name

 

What you can do to stay safe

  • Make sure your devices are secure – set up automatic locking
  • Use good quality antivirus and malware software
  • Use strong passwords – change them regularly & keep them private
  • Cover your webcam where possible
  • Take regular breaks
  • Think about who you’re talking to – not all people online are real or honest – even if you like or trust someone you’ve met online never share personal information or anything that identifies you
  • Think before you post – try not to retaliate or reply without seeking help first
  • Try to keep a record of anything you have received that worries you – it could be useful evidence
  • Don’t ignore something if it’s gone wrong – ask for help if you’ve sent things you shouldn’t have
  • Seek advice on how to block or remove people or how to leave online groups
  • Have a look at the links below – there is a lot of information out there to help you protect yourself

What you can do to stay safe

  • Make sure your devices are secure – set up automatic locking
  • Use good quality antivirus and malware software
  • Use strong passwords – change them regularly & keep them private
  • Cover your webcam where possible
  • Take regular breaks
  • Think about who you’re talking to – not all people online are real or honest – even if you like or trust someone you’ve met online never share personal information or anything that identifies you
  • Think before you post – try not to retaliate or reply without seeking help first
  • Try to keep a record of anything you have received that worries you – it could be useful evidence
  • Don’t ignore something if it’s gone wrong – ask for help if you’ve sent things you shouldn’t have
  • Seek advice on how to block or remove people or how to leave online groups
  • Have a look at the links below – there is a lot of information out there to help you protect yourself

 

Safety in your home

Your landlord is responsible for keeping your property in a good state and for making sure it is safe. Read your tenancy/licence agreement and speak to your worker for more information on this – and to find out who your landlord is.

You are responsible for reporting any maintenance or health and safety concerns immediately to your landlord/housing worker.

 If you live in an Independent People property, then your Housing/Support worker will explain how to report any repairs or health and safety issues.

If you are unsure about who to contact to report a repair or health and safety concern, then please check with a member of staff.

Everybody has the right to feel safe in their home: If you feel unsafe in your accommodation for any reason, then please let us know – we are here to help.

 

For information on Fire safety, click here.

 

 

Keeping your home safe