Abuse of Disabled/Challenged People
(Physically or Mentally Disabled/Challenged)

People are individuals who have the inherent right to respect for their human worth and dignity.  To abuse someone is to harm or hurt them in some way or violate their human or civil rights.
The forms of abuse that might be inflicted on disabled/challenged persons are similar to those mentioned last month: physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial, neglect and restrictive practices.
There is a slightly different range of indicators of abuse than those listed for elder people.  Common signs include extreme changes in behaviour (being challenging or withdrawn), out of character responses, signs of self-harm or unexplained injury, unusual weight change and lack of eye contact.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these signs are more likely to be observed by a casual observer.
What do you do?  Once again, do not confront the abuser or the abused yourself. This may put the disabled/challenged person in more danger.  If you are concerned about the treatment of a disabled/challenged person, go to IHC, 0800 442 442.
“Disability is a matter of perception.  If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.”  Martina Navratilova.
Information for this article has come primarily from: Ministry of Health, 2016, Prevention and management of abuse: Guide for services funded by Disability Services.
Richard Wishnowsky
Vulnerable Persons Protection Officer.