Abuse Definitions

Forms of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain or impairment. Includes but not limited to being slapped, burned, cut, bruised or improperly physically restrained.

Sexual Abuse

Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind. Includes but not limited to forcing sexual contact with self or forcing sexual contact with a third person.

Emotional Abuse

Willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, intimidation or other abusive conduct. Includes but not limited to isolating or frightening an adult.


Failure by caregiver to fulfill caregiving responsibilities. Includes but not limited to abandonment, deprivation of food, water, heat, cleanliness, eyeglasses, dentures, or health-related services.

Self Neglect

The adult’s inability, due to physical and/or mental impairments, to perform tasks essential to caring for oneself.

Financial Exploitation

Improper use of an adult’s funds, property or resources. Includes but not limited to fraud, embezzlement, forgery, falsifying records, coerced property transfers or denial of access to assets. This is the fastest growing crime in the county. Estimates are that only one in every 25 suspected cases are ever reported.