When people with disabilities are being abused, neglected, or exploited, DRA can help. Our abuse, neglect and exploitation team:
- Investigates allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation in both public and private settings;
- Monitors public and private facilities, such as group homes, workshops, nursing homes, psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF), and mental health facilities, to ensure protection of the individuals’ rights;
- Ensure representative payees of Social Security beneficiaries are meeting their federal obligations; and
- Ensure incarcerated individuals with serious mental illness will receive adequate and appropriate mental health services.
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.