Adult Safeguarding - Raising a Concern and the Decision Making Tool (DMT)

 MK Together has developed a Decision Making Tool to make it clearer and easier for people to understand what a safeguarding concern is and what to do with a concern.

Sexual Abuse

When an adult is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact and it can happen online.


  • Not committed by a person in a position of trust (e.g. a professional), and:
    • Isolated incident of teasing or low-level unwanted sexualised attention (verbal or by gestures) directed at one adult by another whether or not capacity exists - no harm or distress caused


  • Non-contact sexualised behaviour which causes distress to the person at risk
  • Verbal sexualised teasing or harassment
  • Being subject to indecent exposure where the person isn’t distressed
  • Isolated incident of teasing or unwanted attention, either verbal or physical (but excluding genitalia), where the effect on the person is low


  • Sex without valid consent (rape)
  • Sexualised touch or masturbation without valid consent
  • Attempted penetration by any means (whether or not it occurs within a relationship) without valid consent
  • Any allegation of sexualised behaviour relating to a person in a position of trust against a person in their care, e.g. staff and service user
  • Being made to look at pornographic material against will/where valid consent cannot be given
  • Voyeurism

The Victims First Specialist Service provides specialist support for victims and witnesses of crime including rape and sexual abuse. A referral can be made by calling 0300 1234 148 or online at: Further detail available at:

Last Updated: 7 December 2021