Abuse in any form is unacceptable and mistreatment against a handicapped individual is even worse. Unfortunately, abuse often runs rampant because people are afraid to get involved. The disabled are often unable to protect themselves in many ways and many are defenseless against cruel treatment. Report verbal abuse against a disabled person immediately if you suspect trouble. There are several meaningful ways to blow the whistle on verbal abuse, and all measures should be considered if the case is legitimate.
Speak out to family members, friends and medical authorities if you suspect verbal abuse. Tell all necessary persons the situation. Be clear about what you see and hear, when you observe it, the frequency with which it happens and who is responsible for the abuse. Present any proof you have of abuse, such as audio recordings or, if possible, the testimony of the abused. Ask these persons to support you in confronting the abuser or reporting the abuse to additional authorities.
Consult state authorities that oversee and investigate cases of abuse. In Florida, for example, you can go online to the Florida Department of Children and Families website. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on "Florida Abuse Hotline." Call the listed number and follow the automated prompts to report abuse. Call the special TTY hotline if you are deaf and need to report a problem. Provide accurate and honest information during your report.
Call specific disabled person abuse hotlines if they are available. Log online and visit the Health and Human Services website associated with your state. Call the provided hotline, available 24 hours a day, to report abuse. Visit the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence website. Click on the child abuse hotline tab in the middle of the page. Scroll through the prefabricated list to find hotlines in your state. Additionally, visit the NCCAFV state elder abuse hotline page and click on your state. Contact the hotline associated with your state using the listed information.
Contact police or social service offices in your area for immediate local assistance. Tell representatives the situation and ask to file an official complaint or report.
Items you will need
- Florida Department of Children and Families: Reporting Abuse
- Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services: Reporting Abuse and Neglect of Individuals with Disabilities
- National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence : Elder Abuse Hotline
- National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence: Report Child Abuse
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