Types of harm

All our Adult Support and Protection information is available in Easy Read format at: www.fifedirect.org.uk/adultprotectioneasyread.

Links to external organisations:

Health & Social Care including how to be assessed for Social Work support, and Child Protection

Safer Communities including Anti-Social Behaviour and Home Safety & Security (includes safety visits)

Police Scotland including Human Trafficking, Trafficking: Read the Signs video and booklet,   Counter Terrorism and the Ready Scotland website

Scottish Fire & Rescue including Safety advice and how to book a  free Home Fire Safety Visit

NHS Fife       Gov.uk         Scottish  Government

Information on types of harm is detailed below. Click on each heading for more information. 

Disability Hate Crime

The harassment of disabled people is a crime.  Some people call harassment 'bullying' or 'hate crime'.  Harassment can happen anywhere and is things like calling you names, hitting you or damaging your home or your things.

If this happens to you, and you are in danger call 999.  If it is not an emergency, call the Police on 101 or the Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200.

You can report online using the Anti-social Behaviour Reporting Form.   Fife Community Safety Partnership webpages also contain information about hate incidents.

Disability Hate Crime Resources

This link will take you to a video by True Vision called 'Bully for You' about disability hate crime.  Peter McMahon's film 'My Life 2' gives his experiences of disability harassment.  

Further resources are available at: 'Staying Safe out and about', www.hatecrimescotland.org, Police Scotland hate crime prevention campaign, Keep Safe initiative including the ‘I am me’ resources, Disability Rights UK Hate Crime Guidance


As part of Fife's programming to the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, the Adult Support and Protection Committee created the exhibition ‘Back to Life: Back to Reality’ which showed that disability harassment is an unwelcome common reality for many disabled people.  We're grateful to people from the Deaf Communication Service, Disabilities Fife, People First (Fife), The Forward Centre and West Fife Community Support  Service for sharing their stories and opinions. 

Reports and Conferences

In 2010 the EHRC published Hidden in Plain Sight - an inquiry into disabilty related harassment.  This was followed by 'Out in the Open: A Manifesto for Change' report which sets out their final recommendations.   Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee took disability hate crime as the main topic for their 2013 Staff Conference.  This followed our November 2012 Service User and Carer Conference called 'That's Not My Name' Out of Sight is a report by English charity Mencap, about stopping the abuse of people with a learning disability.

Internet Safety

Useful resources

Age UK : Internet Security - Staying Safe Online and Making the most of the internet: a practical guide to getting online.

Keep Safe Online: Sexting and Cyberbullying

If you have posted something you regret, there are ways of making it disappear. Even if someone else has posted something about you. Get advice at: thinkuknow.co.uk.  Advice and information about 'sexting' is available at: cybersmile.org/advice-help. Or read the ‘so you got naked online’ information at: saferinternet.org.uk/sexting.  Information on the campaign ‘Pose, Sext—What Happens Next?’ is at: thecorner.co.uk.  Information is also available at: Police Scotland.

I want to talk to someone:

If you are a young person and want to talk to someone your own age or a counsellor,  BeatBullying has qualified counsellors online from 8am-2am. 

  • beatbullying.org  (also has information for parents, carers and teachers)
  • Childline on 0800 11 11 (24 hours) or
  • Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours) or email jo@samaritans.org (available for children, young people or adults)

I want to report something:

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) works to combat the sexual abuse of children and young people online and offline.  Get advice and information about how to report concerns at: ceop.police.uk.  To report a concern about an adult you can also call Police Scotland on 101 or the Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200.

I’m a parent.  Where can I find information?

A parents’ guide to the latest social media and instant message trends can be found at: familylives.org.uk.  Parent information is also available at: thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

Financial Harm

Financial harm can include:

  • feeling under pressure to hand over money or possessions
  • exploitation of property or welfare benefits
  • stopping someone getting their money or possessions
  • stealing, cheating or fraud
  • rogue trading - bogus callers or distraction burglary
  • mass marketing - scams that encourage adults to send money
  • being under pressure to rewrite a Will.

How do I report financial harm?  To report Financial Harm, call the Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200 or Police 101.  To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit: actionfraud.police.uk

Useful resources:

'Making Money Easier'

Fife Young Families Money Advice Project

Trading Standards provide information on consumer safety including e-crime.

Power of Attorney is about giving you the power to make decisions that will protect you, your family and those you care about should you ever lose capacity to make decisions for yourself.  The website: www.mypowerofattorney.org.ukand booklet My Power of Attorney give information and advice.

This Ofcom booklet and The Ofcom site provide useful advice on stopping nuisance calls.

ASPC Financial Harm Guidance & Information.


  • Scams Awareness Month:   Follow #scamaware and get further information on Scams Awareness Month.  Information on: general scams awareness, doorstep scams, internet scams, mail scams and telephone scams.
  • Age UK Avoiding Scams.  This guide explains the different ways you might be contacted by a fraudster, some of the most common scams and what you can do if you fall victim to one. 
  • The 'Stand Against Scams' booklet from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute gives information, and details of the #scambassador campaign.
  • The Safer Communities webpages will provide you with information to help keep you safe, including personal safety, home safety and security, and fire safety.  Information about e-crime is also available to help you proceed safely, whether banking, booking or just browsing online, and gives you valuable advice on what to do if you become a victim of e-crime.
  • SCAMBUSTERS website
  • Trading Standards  The TRADING STANDARDS website contains a wealth of information.  The Consumer Advice pages give advice on scams, e-crime, junk mail.   The 'Know Your New Rights' section of the Citizens Advice website gives further consumer advice. 
  • Think Jessica  The THINK JESSICA campaign highlights the dangers of falling victim to scam mail criminalsand is supported by Fife’s Adult Protection and Consumer Education teams.
  • Trusted Trader  TRUSTED TRADER   is led by Fife Council Trading Standards and is a membership scheme which uses an online directory of local tradesmen who have made a commitment to treat their customers fairly.  Trusted Trader is designed to help customers avoid rogue traders and to make a more informed choice when choosing a trader.  Phone a Trading Standards duty officer on 01592 583141.
  • Social Work Care at Home Service are able to provide solutions to help vulnerable adults feel safe.  If you have any concerns about your own or a loved-one's safety or ability to live independently - contact the Social Work Service on 03451 55 15 03 and ask to speak to the Duty Social Worker about the Telecare Service.

Elder Abuse

Harm against the elderly is still an issue that people find difficult to talk about, particularly when the harm is caused by someone they trust such as a relative or carer.  Victims may feel embarrassed or ashamed at what has happened to them.  They need to know that they are not alone in their situation, and that it is important to speak out.

If you are concerned about any adult who may be at risk of harm or who is being neglected, call the Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200.

Useful resources    The Age Scotland Factsheet and the website Action on Elder Abuse Scotland give more information.  Action on Elder Abuse and Age Scotland have also worked together to create the booklets Keeping Safe From Harm and Abuse, and Are You Worried An Older Person Is Being Harmed?

The booklet ‘Elder Abuse—providing information, raising awareness'  gives about identifying signs of elder abuse or neglect within BME communities.

Forced Marriage

Arranged marriages are a part of everyday life in Scotland for many communities.  But being forced to marry is wrong.

You can take out a Forced Marriage Protection Order to legally prevent anybody from forcing you to marry against your will.  For advice, support and protection, call 0800 027 1234 (free Phone Line) in complete confidence or visit  yourrightscotland.org

Support and help is also available from Shakti Women’s Aid or from Fife Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership on 01592 583690.  Watch Azim's story, Jess's story and Nayana's story

Useful resources:

What is Forced Marriage?

What is Forced Marriage? LGBT

Working with an interpreter

Fife Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership





Self Harm

Self-harm describes any behaviour where someone causes harm to themselves, usually as a way to help cope with difficult or distressing thoughts and feelings. It most frequently takes the form of cutting, burning or nonlethal overdoses. However, it can also be any behaviour that causes injury – no matter how minor, or high-risk behaviours. Any behaviour that that causes harm or injury to someone as a way to deal with difficult emotions can be seen as self-harm.  (Taken from 'The Truth about self-harm' , Mental Health Foundation).

Useful resources: 

Mental Health Foundation including the booklet 'The Truth About Self-Harm'

See Me Scotland


National Self Harm Network: http://www.nshn.co.uk

Young Minds: www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/self-harm

http://www.lifesigns.org.uk/  is a user-led self harm charity which provides guidance and network support.




Social Work Enquiries
Tel: 03451 55 15 03 Contact Social Work Enquiries online
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