You can get help for someone who is being abused or neglected.
What is abuse?
Abuse is the deliberate mistreatment of an adult that causes physical, mental and emotional harm or financial damage or loss. Most cases have elements of each of these forms of abuse, in different degrees.
What are signs of abuse or neglect?
The biggest indicator is isolation. Other signs may include depression, fear, anxiety, social withdrawal, unexplained injury, lack of basic necessities, changes in hygiene or routine, or inability to pay for or maintain their normal lifestyle.
What is neglect?
Neglect is the failure to provide care, assistance, guidance or attention that causes, or is likely to cause, the adult serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial financial loss.
What is self-neglect?
Self-neglect is the failure of an adult to take care of themselves, which causes, or is likely to cause within a short period of time, serious physical or mental harm or substantial financial loss
How can you help?
- Talk to the adult 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 are there to help.
- Believe what they say and ask if they would like assistance.
- Listen, support and assure them that there is help and that they are not alone.
- Educate yourself about abuse and available resources and offer to be part of the adult’s safety planning.
- Do not judge the adult 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 to tailor an acceptable approach that takes into account their culture, language, beliefs, values and support networks. Social workers will work with the person and with community members and agencies to ensure the response is as non-intrusive as possible while considering the person's safety.
An adult is always presumed capable unless demonstrated otherwise. In very limited and serious cases social workers can apply to the courts for an order to help protect a person. Adults can decline services if they understand their choices. They can choose to live at risk. Social workers will support them in whatever decision they make.
Report an incident of abuse or neglect
You do not need to identify yourself, your location or the person about whom you're phoning about. Your identity is protected by legislation.
If someone is 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.
Our staff is available to talk with you from Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In person: 100 - 204 Black Street
Phone toll free: 1-800-661-0408, extension 3946