Reporting Abuse

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call or text 9-1-1.

Abuse is when someone hurts or causes emotional stress to someone else. Abuse can happen to anyone — no matter the person's age, sex, race, religion, or ethnic or cultural background. It can happen in any kind of relationship, like a friendship, romantic relationship, or among family members. Abuse can happen in many ways. Hate crimes directed at people because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation are also abuse.

Click on the tabs below to learn more.

  1. Types of Abuse
  2. Child Abuse
  3. Elder / Dependent Adult Abuse
  4. Domestic Violence

Abuse comes in many forms:


Abandonment is leaving a person who needs help alone without planning for his or her care.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, sometimes called psychological abuse, can include saying hurtful words, yelling, threatening, or repeatedly ignoring the person. Keeping that person from seeing close friends and relatives is another form of emotional abuse.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse happens when money or belongings are stolen from a person by their caregiver or spouse. It can include forging checks, taking someone else's retirement or Social Security benefits, or using a person's credit cards and bank accounts without their permission. It also includes changing names on a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or title to a house without permission.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse happens when someone causes bodily harm by hitting, pushing, or slapping. This may also include restraining an person against his/her will, such as locking them in a room or tying them to furniture.


Neglect occurs when the caregiver does not try to respond to the person's needs. This may include physical, emotional, and social needs, or withholding food, medications, or access to health care.

Online Abuse

Online abuse is emotional or sexual abuse that happens in the virtual world. 

  • Online emotional abuse is any type of online message sent to bully or hurt another person (like an intimidating or threatening message).
  • Online sexual abuse is when someone is asked to share inappropriate pictures of themselves, take part in sexual activities via webcam or smartphone, and/or have sexual conversations by text or online chat. Sometimes, the people who do this give or promise to give things to get someone to go along with these activities. The lasting effects of this abuse include images and videos that can be shared long after the abuse stops.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing a person to watch or be part of sexual acts.