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National Safeguarding Committee Launch - 11 April 2017

On Tuesday 11th April at 14:00hrs Minister of State for People with Disabilities, Finian McGrath T.D., formally launched the Results of a Red C Nationwide Public Opinion Survey on Abuse of Vulnerable Adults. This work was commissioned by the National Safeguarding Committee ( in October 2016 and undertaken in December 2016.

Press ReleaseRed C Survey Report

National Safeguarding Committee press release 110417


Cover Image - Red C Icon

Info graphic - Red C Survey Report

Infograhic - Red C Report


The National Safeguarding Committee (NSC) is a multi-agency and inter-sectoral body with an independent chair. It was established by the HSE in December 2014 in recognition of the fact that safeguarding vulnerable people from abuse is a matter that cannot be addressed by any one agency working in isolation, but rather by a number of agencies and individuals working collaboratively with a common goal.  The NSC brings together key players in public services, legal and financial services, the health and social care professions, regulatory authorities and NGOs representing older people, people with disabilities and carers.  All have come together with one objective in mind – to ensure that adults who may be vulnerable are safeguarded.

The NSC will lead on encouraging an organisational and societal culture which promotes the rights of adults who may be vulnerable and it insists on zero tolerance for abuse.  It will provide strategic guidance to the Government, the HSE, and other national stakeholders.  Since establishment the NSC has developed a Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 which was launched on December 20th 2016. The Nationwide Public Opinion Survey was undertaken to provide a baseline against which progress in developing public awareness and changing attitudes and behaviour can be measured.  A modest public awareness campaign is currently being planned for May and October.

Results of Red C Survey

·         1 in 2 Irish adults claim experience of vulnerable adult abuse to either themselves (as a vulnerable adult) or somebody close to them.

·         Physical abuse of vulnerable adults has been witnessed/suspected by 1 in 3 adults in the population; this is highest within peoples’ private dwellings.

·         Emotional abuse is the most common of all the abuse types with over 1 in 3 having experienced this type of abuse. Given the doubt surrounding what this type of abuse comprises of, more education is required.

·         Although the majority of Irish adults (61%) feel that vulnerable adults are well protected in Irish society, however just under 2 in 5 (38%) think that they are badly treated.

·         This coupled with the 1 in 3 who believe vulnerable adult abuse to be widespread, suggests the public believe there is a problem around safeguarding those who are limited in their ability to protect themselves.

·         Uncertainty around what constitutes emotional and financial abuse is identified as an issue which needs to be addressed in order to further protect vulnerable adults in the State.

·         Lack of clarity regarding the point of contact for reporting vulnerable adult maltreatment is recognised by 1 in 3, with those under 35 years significantly less likely to feel they know the appropriate avenue.

·         Building awareness of this contact route is important, especially given that 18-24 year olds are significantly more likely to claim experience of abuse of a vulnerable adults (either themselves or someone close to them).


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