What do I do if I suspect abuse?
It is a community’s responsibility to protect our elders and not its place to investigate crime.
If you suspect someone you know is being abused, call to report your suspicions, 24-hours per day to 1-855-444-3911. Please note that this centralized intake line is for the entire state of Michigan. We encourage you to hold as long as it takes to reach an Intake Specialist. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1 to report to your local police department.
Some professions are “Mandated Reporters”.
Step 1: Make the Call
If you suspect a person is being abused, CALL 1-855-444-3911. Trust your gut. If you don’t call, who will?
If a person discloses abuse/neglect/exploitation, don’t panic. Don’t problem solve. And don’t ask many questions. Call the above phone number right away. If you feel it’s an emergency because a caregiver will return to the home, call 9-1-1.
Tell the person you are so glad they told you so you can help. Do not make any promises, but assure them they did the right thing.
Step 2: Be Prepared
Be prepared to report the name of the adult, description of the alleged abuse/neglect/exploitation, and any additional information that might be helpful in aiding the investigation, including any knowledge of a potential suspect.
Additional information that you can report, if you have access to:
> Alleged victim’s age, birth date and/or social security number.
> Contact information for adult’s next of kin or responsible party. PLEASE NOTE if you believe this person is of primary suspect.
> Identity of others in the home and their relationship to the adult.
When reporting, offer your name, relationship to the victim, and your contact information for the investigators to reach you if they have further questions.
NEVER call anonymously. Your protection is ensured and will never be disclosed unless you indicate willingness for it to be shared. Your call is confidential and secured.
When you report, be sure to tell them you would like to be contacted by the investigator, if you choose. Adult Protective Services will follow-up to notify you of the outcome.
Step 3: Be Patient
Resume your normal activities.
Do not investigate. Questions can confuse a vulnerable adult, cause them to recant your disclosure and ultimately “botch” a case from moving forward for prosecution.
Why should I report by suspicions?
Early identification and treatment can help reduce the long-term effects.
Some caregivers and family members may also benefit from support, training and respite services.
Your report is anonymous.
Serial perpetrators of vulnerable adults have many victims in their life time. There is a potential that charges will be pressed and prosecuted. Not only could you be helping one person, you might help MANY.