From a release by the Department of Human Services:

House Bill 2442 has changed the legal definitions of abuse for adults with developmental disabilities beginning January 1st, 2010. Abuse definitions are now the same no matter what type of service a person is receiving. All care providers and people who have a trust relationship with an individual are subject to the new definitions.

Here is a summary of the abuse definitions for which protective services are provided and an abuse investigation must be conducted:

  • Abandonment – desertion by a caregiver who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the person’s care.
  • Financial exploitation – wrongfully taking or threatening to take funds or property, misusing money, failing to use a person’s money for their benefit.
  • Involuntary Seclusion – restricting freedom of movement to a part of a facility or program for convenience of a caregiver or as discipline, unless agreed to in a plan. This includes confinement in a home setting.
  • Neglect – withholding services needed for the health and well-being of a person (such as food, medical care) and that causes harm. Failing to provide the necessary care, supervision and services that causes harm or creates a significant risk of harm.
  • Physical abuse – inflicting pain or injury or injury by other than accidental meansor injuries appearing to be at variance with the explanation.
  • Restraint – physical or chemical restraint not part of a plan or prescribed by a doctor.
  • Sexual abuse – nonconsensual sexual contact, harassment or exploitation. Sexual contact with an employee, paid caregiver or any relative (except spouse or partner.)
  • Verbal abuse – including threats, derogatory names, ridicule, humiliation directed at the person. Failing to make a reasonable effort to protect the person under their care.

For further information on the changes contact your local county abuse investigator or the
DHS Office of Investigations and Training at  2575 Bittern St., NE (Yaquina Hall, #33) Salem, OR 97310. Phone:  (503) 945-9495