If you have witnessed the abuse of an elderly person, a child or any other person who is deemed by the state of Minnesota to be a vulnerable (or protected) person, do not stand by and do nothing. There are ways in which you can report this abuse, whether it is physical or financial in nature, and help the person who is suffering.
How to Report Elder Abuse or Abuse of a Vulnerable Person in Minnesota
You can report abuse in Minnesota by visiting the Minnesota Department of Human Services Website or by calling The Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 1-844-880-1574.
Important: reporting the abuse of the elderly and other vulnerable persons does not guarantee them immediate safety. If you believe a person’s life or safety is in immediate danger, contact the police right away before reporting the abuse through the proper channels.
Mandated Reporters: The People You Can Tell
If you are completely unsure of how to go about reporting the abuse of a vulnerable person in Minnesota, are unable to report the abuse, or do not feel safe doing so yourself, know that there are people you tell who must report these types of abuse if they encounter them. Mandated reporters in Minnesota include:
- Law enforcement personnel
- Doctors and nurses
- Social workers
- Other licensed professionals
If one of these types of people have knowledge of abuse taking place, they are required by law to report the abuse and can easily do so using an online reporting tool or by calling the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Provide As Much Information As Possible
Whether you decide to tell a Mandated Reporter or report the abuse yourself, it is essential for you to provide as much information as possible about the protected person, the abuse taking place, who has committed it and when, etc. The more details you provide, the better the case can be built against the person who is committing the abuse.
If the abuse taking place is financial in nature (i.e. someone is stealing or intentionally mismanaging the funds of a protected person, or committing any type of fraud), you should also include in your report the name/s of the financial institution/s where the protected person does their banking, investing, etc. You can also contact these institutions to report the abuse as they may be able to take some action (i.e. restricting the account or freezing funds), but it is not guaranteed that they will be able to help you immediately.
The most important thing about reporting abuse is acting quickly. If you are sure a person is taking advantage of or abusing a child, elderly or disabled person or anyone else who is considered a vulnerable person in Minnesota, act immediately, before the abuse continues or gets any worse.
Protection Against Abuse
While they will not stop abuse from occurring, surety bonds provide protection for vulnerable people in that they provide a means of financial recompense should their funds be mismanaged or stolen, or if fraud has taken place. For more information on surety bonds and how they can protect a vulnerable person’s assets, contact The Patrick J. Thomas Agency today.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.