Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled

You've Got Rights!


You've Got Rights

Table of Contents

What is Abuse?

Abuse is someone hurting or humiliating you. It can be physical (hitting, pinching, slapping), verbal (name-calling, put-downs, sarcasm), or emotional (being made to feel worthless, inferior, afraid). Getting yelled at or punished because of your disability is also abuse. It may be abuse if someone is making negative comments about your disability. Abuse includes withholding food, clothing, medical care, and not allowing you to use the bathroom. Denying you the use of your wheelchair, crutches, braces, or communication device as punishment is abuse.

The Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Law protects people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59 who, because of their disabilities, must rely on others to meet their dailiy living needs. If you suspect that a disabled person is being abused by his or her caretaker -- or if you are being abused -- contact the Disabled Person's Protection Commission (DPPC). Abuse of people under the age of 18 must be reported to the Department of Social Services (DSS). The phone numbers are at the back of this guidebook.

Mandated reporters are people who are required to report suspicions of abuse. They include doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, day care workers, and human service workers. Once a report is filed, the agency in charge will investigate and take any necessary action.

For more information on your rights, call CORD at (508) 775-8300
or one of the other resources listed at the end of this guide.
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