Get help: an adult is being abused or neglected

You can get help for someone who's being abused or neglected. Adult Protection Services provides support for adults experiencing abuse, neglect or self-neglect who may be unable to seek help.

What's abuse?

Abuse is the deliberate mistreatment of someone that causes:

  • physical harm;
  • mental harm;
  • emotional harm; or
  • financial damage or loss.

Abuse can take many forms and often have elements of each of these types of abuse in different degrees.

What's neglect?

Neglect is the failure to provide the necessary care, help, guidance or attention that causes, or is likely to cause, someone:

  • serious physical harm;
  • serious mental harm;
  • serious emotional harm; or
  • substantial financial loss.

What's self-neglect?

Self-neglect is the failure of someone to take care of themselves, which causes, or is likely to cause within a short period of time:

  • serious physical harm;
  • serious mental harm; or
  • substantial financial loss.

What are signs of abuse or neglect?

The biggest indicator of abuse and neglect is isolation.

Other signs may include:

  • depression;
  • fear;
  • anxiety;
  • social withdrawal;
  • an unexplained injury;
  • a lack of basic necessities;
  • changes in hygiene;
  • changes in routine; or
  • the inability to pay for or maintain their normal lifestyle.

How can you help?

  • Talk to the person alone where they feel safe. For example when they're away from the abuser.
  • Tell them in a caring way what your concerns are and that you're there to help.
  • Believe what they say and ask if they'd like assistance.
  • Listen, support and assure them that help is available and that they are not alone.
  • Educate yourself about abuse and available resources and offer to be part of their safety planning.
  • Do not judge them or deny that the abuse is occurring.
  • Be patient and seek support for yourself too.

How can we help?

We'll work with the person on an approach that's:

  • acceptable to them; and
  • takes into account their culture, language, beliefs, values and support networks.

Social workers work with the person and community members and agencies to help as non-intrusively as possible. They always consider the person's safety.

We assume an adult is capable of making their own decisions. In very limited and serious cases social workers can apply to the courts for an order to help protect a person from harm.

Adults can decline services if they understand and appreciate their choices. Capable adults may choose to live at risk.

Whatever decision someone makes, social workers offer support to help increase the person's safety.

Report and incident of abuse or neglect

You do not need to identify yourself or your location. Your identity is protected by legislation. 

If someone's in immediate danger

If you're concerned that an adult may be in immediate danger from abuse or neglect, phone the RCMP. Phone 911 or your local prefix plus 5555.

Adult Protection Services staff is available to talk with you from Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.


In person: 3168 3rd Avenue

Phone: 867-456-3946

Phone toll free: 1-800-661-0408, extension 3956


Phone: 867-821-2920


Phone: 867-863-5800

Dawson City

Phone: 867-993-7890


Phone: 867-994-2749

Haines Junction

Phone: 867-634-2203


Phone: 867-996-2283

Old Crow

Phone: 867-966-3124

Pelly Crossing

Phone: 867-537-3300

Ross River

Phone: 867-969-3200


Phone: 867-390-2588

Watson Lake

Phone: 867-536-2232