When people with disabilities are being abused, neglected, or exploited, DRA can help. Our abuse, neglect and exploitation team:
- Conducts investigations into instances of abuse, neglect and exploitation;
- Provides trainings on topics of abuse, neglect and exploitation;
- Monitors facilities, such as group homes, workshops, nursing homes, psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF), and mental health facilities, for signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and
- Supports self-advocates in using their skills to stand up against abuse, neglect and exploitation.
What is abuse, neglect, and exploitation?
Abuse is any willful action by a caretaker or another person that results in injury or harm. Types of abuse include, but are not limited to:
- Physical abuse (hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, intentionally burning, force feeding, excessive force during restraint);
- Verbal abuse (yelling, swearing at or demeaning a person, or threatening to withhold food, care, or activities);
- Sexual abuse (unwanted or inappropriate touching, coercion to perform sex acts, being forced to observe or watch sex acts or pornography).
Neglect is failure or refusal on the part of a caretaker to:
- Prevent the abuse of a child when a person has reasonable cause to know a child is being abused;
- Provide necessary food, clothing and shelter to a child in their care;
- Provide appropriate education to a child in their care;
- Provide for the child’s care and maintenance, proper or necessary support, or medical, surgical, or other necessary care;
- Provide appropriate supervision to ensure the safety of the child.
Exploitation is the act of a caretaker taking advantage of a person. Examples of exploitation include:
- Using a person’s belongings without permission;
- Using a person’s money for themselves (“borrowing”);
- Knowingly taking advantage of a person for money or other items.
How do I report abuse, neglect or exploitation?
- If you or someone you care about is in immediate danger, call 911. DRA is not an emergency responder!
- To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child, call the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-482-5964 (TDD: 1-800-843-6349.) You can make a report to the hotline without giving your personal information. Please give as much information about the incident, the victim, and the alleged perpetrator as possible.
- To report abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult, call Adult Protective Services at 800-482-8049 or click here.
- You can make a confidential report to DRA about abuse, neglect or exploitation in a facility. Click here for a confidential online form.
- You can also make a complaint about a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) through the Placement and Residential Licensing Unit (PRLU) or the Office of Long Term Care (OLTC). More information, including how to make a complaint about a facility, is available here.
- Call Disability Rights Arkansas toll-free at 800-482-1174.