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Prevent and Report Abuse

The truth is, abuse does happen. People do not always know what abuse is and that it is happening. Sadly, sometimes people are abused by those who are close to them. You can protect yourself and others by learning about abuse and how to get help if you need it.

Abuse can be any of the following:

  • Physical: This is when someone causes you physical pain or injury on purpose. This could be slapping, bruising, or restraining you.

  • Financial: This is when someone uses your money, medications, or property illegally or in a way you do not agree with.

  • Neglect: This is when someone who is in charge of caring for you, fails to help you with your care needs.

  • Self-neglect: This is when people do not understand they are taking poor care of themselves.

  • Verbal and Emotional: This is when someone causes you mental or emotional stress by making threats or calling you names.

  • Sexual: This is when someone forces sexual contact of any kind on you.

  • Seclusion: This is when someone limits where you can go, who you can see, or who you can speak to.

Anyone can report abuse. It can be reported for someone who lives at home or in a care facility. You can report it for yourself, or you can report it for someone else. You do not have to give your name when making a report of abuse.

Next Steps

NWSDS serves as the Adult Protective Services authority in our five county area. Adult Protective Services workers are assigned to look into reports by calling or visiting. Their goal is to help stop abuse from happening now and in the future.


  • Provide and document risk assessment of reported victims
  • Conduct and document investigations of reported wrongdoing
  • Provide appropriate resources for victim safety

In our investigation process, we:

  • Receive reports of abuse, neglect, or self-neglect
  • Conduct unannounced interviews with the reported victim, reported perpetrator, and relevant witnesses
  • Provide and document risk assessment of reported victims
  • Obtain and review any available documentary or physical evidence
  • Determine the facts of the case, based on the available evidence
  • Conclude whether the majority of the evidence indicates that the incident occurred and whether abuse or neglect is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or inconclusive.

Guardianship and Conservatorship

Sometimes people can no longer help themselves because of their health. In these cases, families may want to talk to a lawyer or an Adult Protective Services worker about guardianship or conservatorship for those who are no longer able to make decisions.

Guardianship – In serious cases of abuse or self-neglect, the county court can give someone the right to make decisions and provide care for a person who is no longer able to do these things. This may include managing the person’s money.

Conservatorship – The county court can also give someone the right to manage another person’s property and money if the person is no longer able to do these things.

To learn more, please contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC).

To report possible abuse, call:

NorthWest Senior and Disability Services (in Clatsop, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, and Yamhill Counties)

Toll-free: 1-800-846-9165

Oregon’s Abuse Reporting Hotline (in other Oregon counties)

Toll-free: 1-855-503-7233

Your Local Police Department (for help at any time)

You may also submit a report of abuse using our APS Referral Form, or if you have Microsoft Word you may use the Word APS Referral Form to automatically submit via email.