How to Report Abuse to Disabled Persons

Use your voice and observations to advocate for an abused disabled person.
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No one should have to feel afraid, abused or have to put up with threats of abuse. Mentally disabled people are often the target of abuse and they might not always know how to report it. You might have to report the abuse that you see or suspect, depending on the mentally disabled person's level of communication. Don't hesitate to report abuse if the person recognizes that she is being abused, because sometimes the person who is abused is too afraid to report the crime.

Step 1

Record any abuse that you see by taking pictures of injuries, attempting to record verbal abuse, writing down the dates and time that you have seen or suspect abuse occurred and asking the disabled person if the abuse took place. Turn the records over to the authorities.

Step 2

Contact the police immediately via 911 or the local emergency phone number if you are an eyewitness to a disabled person being abused. Notify the police if you see an abused disabled adult get verbally yelled at, emotionally abused or physically harmed.

Step 3

Report suspicion of abuse to the disabled person's doctor, social worker or the manager of the group home or other living facility where the disabled person resides. Offer any proof of evidence that you have collected to show why you suspect abuse. Report the abuse to family members if you suspect that the abuse is taking place in a facility or public venue.

Step 4

Call, write or visit the state's Department of Health and Human Services or call the state hotline to report abuse. Elder abuse can be reported to the Department of Elderly Services. Child abuse can be reported to the Department of Children's Services. All other abuse can be reported to the Department of Public Health or emergency hotlines provided for this purpose by your state.

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