I have a disability. How do I know if I am experiencing abuse?
Question & AnswerI have a disability. How do I know if I am experiencing abuse?
Persons with disabilities are more likely to be abused. Sometimes it might be because they rely on others to meet needs related to their disability.
Persons with disabilities might be abused by:
- family members
- husbands, wives, same-sex partners, boyfriends, girlfriends
- people they live with
- people involved in their care
Types of abuse
Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. Neglect can also be abuse. If any of these happen to you, it isn't your fault. No one has the right to hurt or abuse you.
All abuse is wrong, but not all abuse is a crime.
For example, if a tells you that you're worthless, they're abusing you, but it isn't a crime. But it might be a crime if a caregiver tells you that they're going to physically hurt you.
Family members and friends sometimes ask to borrow money. In some situations that could be abuse, but it isn't a crime. But it might be a crime if someone, even a family member, takes your money without asking you or by bullying you.
What you can do
If you're being abused, there are things you can do. Your options depend on whether the abuse is a crime and who is abusing you. For example, you might:
- report abuse by an agency that gives you developmental services and supports
- report abuse by your homecare service provider
- make a claim for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
- sue in court
- call 911 in an emergency or to report abuse if it is a crime
You can talk to a lawyer to find out more about your options. There are also organizations that provide services and support to people who have been abused.