Disability – Neglect and Abuse

Happy Saturday, everyone! In today’s blog, I’m going to talk about Abuse and Neglect.  I was asked by a few of my readers to do this topic.  Yes, Abuse and Neglect in the disabled community isn’t something that many people address but it does happen often.    People with disabilities often get abused or neglected by caretakers, family, or institutions they go to or live in.  According to the World Institute on Disability, abuse is any behavior that is unwanted, hurtful, inappropriate, neglectful, frightening, insulting, or demeaning. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or financial mistreatment by anyone in a “helping” role. Lots of disabled people get abused because we are often disrespected and seen less than because of our disabilities.       As stated, neglect and abuse can come in many different forms such as:

  • 3389422_370Rummaging through personal items
  • Yell, scream, threaten, or insult a person with a disability
  • Stealing money, credit cards, etc or other personal things
  • Hit, kick, or slap the disabled person…hurting them in any way
  • Neglect or ignore needs
  • Controlling where they go, what they do, and who they can see
  • Touching in inappropriate sexual manners
  • Keeping a person from being as healthy and independent as they need to be
  • Overprotection can be abuse too

Ways to help someone who is or has been abused are:

  • Listen to and believe them if they’re expressing concerns
  • Do background checks
  • Have a plan for backup care
  • Stay calm, never panic
  • Offer to support this individual in handling the situation in his or her own way. Your primary resources include good listening, information about abuse prevention, and referral to community resources.

 

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If this is happening to you or someone you know please talk to them and supports them and let them know how important it is to speak out.  Let them know it’s okay and give them advice on prevention and other alternatives.  If you fear that you or someone may be in grave danger contact the police or adult protective services.

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