Abuse, Neglect & Facility Discharge
What is abuse, neglect, and exploitation?
- Physical abuse: Kicking; hitting; force-feeding; burning; using excessive force during a restraint
- Verbal abuse: Yelling; name-calling; threats to withhold food, care, or activities
- Sexual abuse: Unwanted or inappropriate touching; being forced to perform sex acts; human trafficking
- Neglect: Lack of personal care assistance; inappropriate supervision to ensure health and safety; failure to provide food or drink
- Exploitation/Theft: Using belongings without permission; spending another’s money on one’s self; knowingly taking advantage of someone for money or other benefits
What should I do if I or someone I know is being abused, neglected, or exploited?
When you or someone you love is being hurt, it can be hard to speak out. The best thing you can do, though, is get help. Watch this 5-minute video to learn more about reasons to get help and who to reach out to.
You don’t need to have all the details before asking for help; just give as much information as you can. Some information you might want to share about the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation include:
- The name of the person being hurt
- The name of the person that is allegedly responsible for the abuse, neglect, or exploitation
- The relationship between the person being hurt and the person allegedly being abusive, neglectful, or exploitative
- The disability of the person being hurt
- The age or birthday of the person being hurt
- The address of the person being hurt
- The place the person is being hurt (such as a private home, a group home, a nursing home, etc.)
- Contact information for the person’s service provider
You may be asked for your name and contact information. Remember that you have the right to report ANONYMOUSLY.
Who should I reach out to for help?
If you or the person being hurt is in immediate danger, meaning the harm will happen very soon, call 911.
If there is no immediate danger, but help is still needed, you can contact:
- Child Protective Services (CPS) when the person being hurt is 17 years old or younger.
- Adult Protective Services when the person being hurt is 18 years old or older.
- The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) when the situation involves a licensed health facility such as a group home, nursing home, or large group residence for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
- The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities (BDDS) when the person being hurt has an intellectual or developmental disability.
- The Department of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) when the person being hurt resides in a State Psychiatric Hospital (SPH) or receives services from a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC).
What can IDR do?
- Investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with disabilities by service providers
- Monitor facilities that serve people with disabilities for signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation
- Help people with disabilities who are ready to leave a facility find an appropriate community placement
- Educate people with disabilities, their families, and their providers about abuse, neglect, and exploitation
- Support self-advocacy skills
I want IDR’s help. What do I do?
Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger. If there is no immediate danger, fill out this Help Form or call our Intake Team at 1-800-622-4845.
I don’t think I need IDR’s help yet. Are there any resources to help me advocate?
Yes, you can view Ombudsmen information below and visit our Resources webpage for more.
Ombudsman programs can help individuals resolve issues within a variety of settings.
- The Developmental Disabilities Ombudsman investigates and attempts to resolve complaints in BDDS facilities.
- The Long Term Care Ombudsman investigates and attempts to resolve complaints in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- The DCS Ombudsman investigates and attempts to resolve concerns about DCS staff.
- The Managed Health Services (MHS) Member Ombudsman, a part of Mental Health America of Indiana, investigates and attempts to resolve issues with MHS or any part of healthcare.