Adult abuse is a growing problem. While we don't know all of the details about why abuse occurs or how to stop its spread, we do know that help is available for victims. Concerned people, like you, can spot the warning signs of a possible problem, and make a call for help if an adult is in need of assistance.
What is abuse?

Abuse is the commission of an act to cause physical pain, physical injury, mental anguish, emotional trauma or inappropriate / unreasonable confinement, by a caretaker, of an adult who is unable to protect him/herself. Abuse may include, but is not limited to the following:Injuries which are debilitating or, if not treated, would become debilitating; Conditions which would cause permanent disabilities; or conditions which would be considered terminal if not treated; or Injuries that are inconsistent with the history given; or Injuries for which there is no reasonable explanation.

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse occurs when an impaired adult is forced, tricked, threatened or otherwise coerced into sexual activity, involuntary exposure to sexually explicit material or language or sexual contact against the adult’s will. Sexual abuse also occurs when an adult is unable to give consent to such sexual activities or contact and is engaged in such activities or contact with another person. Sexual abuse provides grounds for the Department to obtain custody of an adult who lacks capacity to consent when such abuse relates to sexual activity or contact. This includes, but is not limited to: Sexual contact that may include physical and emotional abuse and verbal harassment of a sexual nature, Sexual abuse that occurs regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is the spouse of the victim, Sexual contact between an authority figure and an adult who lacks capacity.

What is neglect?

Neglect is the omission by a caretaker of services / care needed by an adult to prevent physical or mental injury/illness.

What is self-neglect?

Self-Neglect is the result of an adult’s own inability, due to physical and/or mental impairments or diminished capacity, to perform essential self-care tasks including: obtaining essential food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety; and/or managing financial affairs.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is defined in the Adult Protection Act within abuse as The infliction of …. Mental anguish…by a caretaker …..The Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, Vol. 10, April 1999, p. 120, defines psychological / emotional abuse as: The infliction of mental anguish or the provocation of fear, violence or isolation by a person in a relationship of trust. It diminishes the dignity, identity and self-worth of the vulnerable adult.

Why can't I save report information and complete it at a later time?

To ensure the information you report is confidential, we have designed the web site so the information cannot be saved on your computer.

Why can't I print out the information typed into the report?

To ensure the information you report is confidential, we have designed the web site so the information cannot be saved on your computer. This, in turn, does not allow you to print the entire report.

Who assesses the information I have submitted?

Trained, degreed professionals at Adult Protective Services assess the information you submit via the Internet. They are the same Adult Protective Services Personnel you are accustomed to speaking with on the phone.

List of acceptable browsers?

Internet Explorer 8.x and above, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla and Chrome

How do I spell check the information entered in the 'describe the situation' section?

Copy and paste or type the 'Describe the situation' information into a word-processing program and perform the spell check. Copy and paste the information back into the “Describe the situation “section after you have performed the spell check.

Why can't I make an anonymous report via the Internet?

Each report entered via the internet generates a 'Reference Number'. This identification number is provided to document that the reporter's obligation to report abuse/neglect has been met. Since anonymous reporters do not leave their name or identifying information, there is no way to confirm who may have actually made the report; therefore our policy is to not provide a report identification number to anonymous reporters. Providing us with your identity also helps if someone in Adult Protective Services needs to communicate with you regarding the situation you reported to work together in protecting adults with disabilities and persons who are elderly.

If my session times out, will I lose what I have entered?

Yes. If you are in the middle of filling out a report and leave your computer unattended for 30 minutes, the session will time out for security reasons and you will lose what you have entered.

How secure is this website?

The website's security is sufficient to permit HIPAA-covered entities to file reports of adult abuse/neglect/exploitation, as mandated by state law. The session between the reporter and the server is encrypted, using SSL, Secure Socket Layer technology. The transmission is secure. The data flow is one way, from the reporter to the server. The reporter, cannot access any data submitted, including his/her own.

Will the person know I've reported him or her?

Your report is confidential, and it is not subject to public release under the Open Records Act. The law provides for immunity from civil or criminal liabilities for innocent persons who report even unfounded suspicions, as long as your report is made in good faith. Your identity is kept confidential.

What if I'm not sure?

If you have reason to suspect abuse, but are not positive, make the report.