Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Adult Safeguarding in the time of COVID-19

Call for papers for: Journal of Adult Protection

We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 (C19) pandemic in the UK and the impact to date has been devastating for many people. From early on, it was clear that older and disabled people would be two of the groups most at risk; ‘underlying health conditions’ make older and/or disabled people more vulnerable to infection, and medication can compromise immunity and, hence, increase risk of C19 contagion. Additionally, many older and/or disabled people rely on personal assistants and health and social care workers for assistance and communication, making social distancing, let alone social isolation difficult, if not impossible. In hospitals and ICU departments, healthcare professionals have had to take decisions about whose lives are worth saving and these might not be, we understand, those of either older or disabled people. It has also become apparent that race and class inequalities play a very significant role in the way that the (handling of the) C19 pandemic functions in terms of health and death.


Disability and health inequalities also play a role in the social consequences of the (handling of the) COVID pandemic. To name a few:

  • the reported increases in domestic violence and financial scams/exploitation;
  • the crisis in care homes;
  • gender and work-life balance;
  • difficulties getting support services;
  • differential technological access;
  • neurotypical online meeting cultures.


At the same time, we know that C19 highlights how older and disabled people are a source of knowledge: people with chronic illness often have months, years or even decades of ‘practice’ with isolation, of managing resources in challenging times and/or of relying on family and community for basic necessities. Many older and disabled people often have extensive experience with ‘online life’ and the current move to ‘online living’ is welcomed and gives a sense of inclusion. There is plenty to learn from disabled and ill people and good advice to offer to non-disabled and ‘healthy’ people! The adaptability and shift of professionals to online working, including assessments is also of potential value in terms of future working patterns.

For this special issue of the Journal of Adult Protection: Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Adult Safeguarding in the time of COVID-19, we would like to invite academics, students as well as professionals from a range of different disciplines (health, social care, legal, housing, technology); people working in policy, community groups and the NGO/not-for-profit sector to provide papers on topics related to the issue. Considering the topical character of the issue, we welcome submissions that are exploratory and that offer observations on what is happening in the community, as well as in professional practice and academic reflections. We also explicitly invite contributions from professional practitioners relating to their experiences of working in safeguarding during this period. Topics could range from the experiences of older and disabled people, the barriers that older and disabled people face (or have faced) in relation to the pandemic (including access to safety and safeguarding), disability and health injustice, policy, in/dependent living, and anything else concerned with violence, abuse and neglect during the time of C19. We are also specifically interested in intersectional observations of and reflections on the role of, for instance, race, gender, sexuality, class, and migration status and protection.




The deadline for submissions is 10 August 2020.

Please submit your paper here:
(NB Please select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Adult Safeguarding in the time of COVID-19)
We accept papers of up to 6,000 words but would also like to encourage a range of shorter ‘Covid-19 soundbites’ highlighting safeguarding decision-making in the shadow of the virus; these may be in the 1500-2000 word range.

Our full author guidelines are available here:

If you would like to you can submit an initial abstract or idea to us for consideration/brief feedback. We will then respond with feedback. You may send this abstract in written or audio format.
If you would like feedback please send the following:

  • Your (1) name and email address, (2) organisation, group or institution, (3) your position or role
  • Title for your paper
  • Initial idea for paper (brief outline only). OR
  • Written abstract: please restrict this to 200 words max. OR
  • Audio abstract: please restrict this to max 3 min recording. 


Email your idea/abstract or recording to:

Bridget Penhale (Senior Editor) on: [email protected]