Words to Know

Abuser or Perpetrator: This is what we call people who hurt other people.

Abuse Victim or Abuse Survivor: These are words people will use for someone who has been hurt. If you prefer to be called one or the other, you can tell people that.

Adult Protective Services (APS): This is a state agency that helps protect people with disabilities and older adults from abuse. They also investigate when abuse happens. 

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Division of Regulation and Licensure (DRL):  This is a state agency that inspects long-term care facilities, like nursing homes. They make sure that people who live there are being treated well. If you are abused while living in a long-term care facility or by a staff person that works there, this agency will investigate to make sure the facility and staff are doing their jobs right. 

Department of Mental Health (DMH): This is a state agency that helps people with disabilities get good services. If someone has been abused by DMH staff, they want to make sure it doesn’t happen to another person who gets services. 

Investigate: This word means to look at something closely to find the truth.

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU): If you were abused and you have Medicaid, this unit may investigate. They want to make sure people who get help from Medicaid are not abused by Medicaid providers.

People to Know

Crisis Support Person: This is someone who works for a crisis hotline. They will answer when you call a crisis hotline number or online chat. Their job is to be a good listener. This means being supportive and kind. They will not tell anyone what you say to them.

Investigator: An investigator is someone who gathers information about the abuse and looks for facts to find out what happened. They are responsible for doing the investigation.

Medical Professional: A medical professional’s job is to help you heal when you are hurt. They may also gather proof of crimes to give to police officers. Some examples of medical professionals are doctors and nurses.

Missouri Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline Worker: This is someone who works for the Missouri Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline. It is their job to keep you safe. The Missouri Abuse and Neglect Hotline is a free number to call when someone abuses a person with a disability or someone who is older. When you have been hurt, they want to know about They can help protect you from being hurt again.

Law Enforcement/Police Officer: A police officer’s job is to deal with crimes. They gather proof when people commit crimes. The police or sheriff investigator might be called a detective.

Ombudsman: An ombudsman is someone who can help if you live in a long-term care facility, like a nursing home. It is their job to make sure residents in facilities are treated well. They can advocate for you when you are hurt or mistreated.

Victim Advocate: A victim advocate is someone who can help you. It is their job to advocate or stand up for your rights when you have been hurt.