Everyone has the right to be safe.
Consent means saying yes or that a person agrees. Personal space is the private area around a person's body. People need to ask first before they do anything in a person's personal space.
Abuse can be many things. Not all abuse can be seen. Abuse is unwelcomed touch or entering personal space without consent.
All of these can be Abuse:
- Physical abuse is unwelcomed contact like hitting or touching and hurting someone on purpose
- Sexual abuse or sexual assault is unwanted, forced touching and actions in a person's private parts.
- Unreasonable confinement is using unnecessary restraints of any kind or isolation.
- Verbal abuse includes using words that hurt someone's feelings and are mean. Others using pressure to make a person do something they don’t want to do. Using words to hurt someone because of their race, culture, disability, or life choices.
Neglect is not giving someone what they need to live. This includes:
- Medication - The pills and treatments a person needs to stay healthy and manage their medical needs.
- Home and Community Based Services including the help from people and agencies to make sure you feel safe, healthy, and living the life you want.
- Physical and Mental Health care services like doctors, nurses, therapy, hospitals, social workers, counselors.
- Shelter, a safe place to stay or live. It could be a house, group home, apartment, or motorhome.
- Cooling - Air Conditioning (AC)
- Supervision - When a person who is responsible to keep someone safe ignores them or their needs.
Exploitation is when someone uses another person or their things without asking to only help themselves.
This can include:
● Misusing or spending money, credit cards or bank accounts on things for themselves or things you don’t need.
● Stealing or taking money, things or property.
● Forced begging for things or money to give to them.
● Prostitution, forcing someone to have sex to get money or things.
Abuse, neglect and exploitation can occur for a variety of reasons. Also, individuals can be victimized by friends, family members or strangers.
Below are factors that can cause abuse, neglect or exploitation:
- Caregiver stress: People who do not have the needed skills or resources and who are not prepared to be a caregiver may suffer from stress which may lead to abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- Dependency: People in poor health are more likely to be abused than those who are in relatively good health. Caregivers who rely on the monetary resources of the older adult are also more likely to abuse.
- External stress: Experiencing money problems, job stress and family problems can trigger people to abuse or neglect others upon whom they rely.
- Social isolation: Social isolation is both a sign of potential abuse and a contributing cause.
- Intergenerational violence: When violence is a learned form of normal behavior in childhood, it can be expressed in adulthood. This means if a person grew up around violence, they may be more likely to be violent with their own family or someone for whom they are caring.
- Personal problems of the abuser: People who have problems like alcoholism, substance abuse or behavioral health problems are more likely to become an abuser than those who do not.