2. Learn about abuse
Question & AnswerI get home or community care and I’m being abused. What can I do?
The Patient Bill of Rights says that you have the right to be free from abuse and neglect.
Abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, or financial. It can also be abuse if you are neglected or not cared for properly. Neglect happens when someone agrees to provide you with care but does not look after your basic needs.
Physical abuse happens when someone does something that hurts or harms you. For example, physical abuse can happen when someone:
- hits, punches, slaps, chokes, burns, or pushes you
- ties you up
- locks you in a place like a room or a car
Sexual abuse is sexual behaviour that you do not agree to or know is happening, such as:
- inappropriate touching
- sexual comments
- forced sexual contact
Emotional, mental, and verbal abuse are forms of psychological abuse. For example, psychological abuse can happen when someone:
- yells at you or threatens you
- insults, bullies, or makes you feel ashamed
- stops you from contacting your friends and family
- says they will abandon you or send you away
- invades your privacy by reading your emails, text messages, or mail, or by listening to your phone conversations
For example, financial abuse can happen when someone:
- takes your money without your permission,
- controls your finances or refuses to share money, or
- misuses your Power of Attorney for Property for their own benefit. They might do this by paying their bills with money from your bank account or selling your property without telling you and keeping the money.
Neglect and improper or incompetent care
Neglect can also be abuse. For example, neglect can happen when someone:
- leaves you alone when you need help
- does not give you food, clothing, medicine, or other things that you need and that they are supposed to give you
- looks after you in a way that is improper or incompetent
Improper or incompetent care can happen when, for example, your caregiver:
- gives you the wrong medicine
- accidently hurts you when helping you move around
- makes mistakes or does things wrong when giving you care