• pushing a person out of her wheelchair
  • hurting her service animal
  • hitting, shaking, and burning
  • the administration of poisonous substances or inappropriate drugs
  • inappropriate handling of personal or medical care
  • over-use of restraint or inappropriate behavior modification
  • false information given to the medical/psychiatric community resulting in wrongful diagnosis


  • isolating a person from family and friends
  • intensely criticizing a person that needs assistance with her daily activities
  • withholding love and affection
  • verbal attacks
  • taunting, threats (of withdrawal of services or of institutionalization), insults and harassment


  • a caregiver or partner stealing money
  • misusing financial resources
  • lying about the state of a person’s finances
  • the denial of access to, and control over, individuals’ own funds
  • forcing a person to lie to or exploit governmental benefit systems


  • telling a woman with a disability that she will be sent to a nursing home and lose her freedom if she reports the violence
  • implying that physical violence will be committed (e.g., “I’m going to kick your butt.”)

Sexual Abuse

  • forcing a person to perform sexual favors in exchange for assistance with essential services (bathing, eating)
  • unwanted or forced sexual contact, touching, or displays of sexual parts
  • threats of harm or coercion in connection with sexual activity
  • denial of sexuality and of sexual education
  • forced abortion, birth control or sterilization


  • refusing to allow a person that needs assistance to practice her chosen customs
  • telling a person her or his disability is the result of sin
  • spiritual isolation and spiritual embarrassment
  • mocking, ridiculing, or even denying practice of someone’s spiritual beliefs
  • unfairly using sacred practices to control a person: to justify abuse, or to prevent safety or healing