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Abuse: A Crime Against the Disadvantaged

Abuse can come in many forms, and affect a variety of individuals. Whether it be a child, nursing home resident, or incapacitated person – there is a common thread in most cases. Usually, the abused is a disadvantaged person in that they have some physical, emotional, or cognitive disability. In the case of children, the abused may not have any disability at all, but rather, their young age and naivety are taken advantage of.

Many cases involving abuse involve heart-wrenching facts that quickly gain media attention. The harsh penalties, public attention, and shame accompanying  charges of abuse should be motive enough to deter such behavior. Since abuse is such a reputation-damaging charge or allegation, the public must not immediately judge every case reported by the media. Who can forget the Duke case from years past – a situation where one woman brought an entire school…an entire STATE to its knees in front of the world spotlight, only later for it to be revealed that the allegations were false. By the time the public recognized the truth, reputations were already destroyed. If you think that your reputation was damaged falsely, and are accused of something you did not do,  don’t hesitate to talk to your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer .

Individuals who are living in long term care facilities are susceptible to mistreatment. Many older people develop dementia and/or other physical disabilities towards the end of life. This can stress-out workers at care facilities, which can lead to frustrations being taken out upon the defenseless patient or resident.

What to look for? If you suspect a loved one is being, or has been victimized – there are things you can look for to ensure you don’t miss telltale signs. Look for physical signs like bruises, burns, bed sores, and puncture holes. Also, don’t ignore uncomfortable subjects like the presence of a sexually transmitted diseases, lowered self-esteem, or unexpected mistrust. If you have a parent or loved one who lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, keep a mental note (or hard copy if you are already suspicious) of possessions and valuables. Then, check each month to be sure those items are still where they are supposed to be. If you are suspicious, your Virginia Beach Civil Lawyer will be happy to listen to your facts. Doing so will ensure your peace of mind in the long run.

In addition to physical and emotional signs of abuse, more obvious financial red flags should be examined carefully. For example, if you notice your loved one spending an excessive amount of funds he or she controls, make an inquiry. Look for transfers of funds or property that “don’t seem right.” Trust your instinct and remain diligent.

Do I HAVE to Report Abuse or Neglect?

Depending on your job or title, you may have an obligation to report abuse. If you are uncertain, contact your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer.

In Virginia, you may have a duty to report abuse of elders or incapacitated individuals. Virginia Code 63.2-1606 mandates that certain people report abuse. Included in this group are licensed and registered nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, funeral service providers, psychologists, and numerous others. Virginia law requires the person reporting to do so “immediately.”