Who can you trust? Deb hears this question over and over again in her professional practice as an elder law attorney and a fee-only, holistic financial planner. Let Deb teach you how to protect yourself and your assets from those who might not have your best interests at heart. [Editor's note: Deb no longer contributes to Silver Planet, but we have made her archived blog entries available as a service to our readers.]
Physical abuse is a pattern of coercive control, or an act or threatened act of violence. Often, the victim is not only physically harmed but is also rendered dependent, helpless, and fearful. Emotional and psychological abuse frequently attends the physical violence.
Abusers often leave telltale signs of physical and emotional maltreatment:
Abusers will frequently minimize or justify their actions, or seek sympathy for themselves by complaining of the stress and overwork that caregiving entails. Abusers may also blame the victim, explaining that the victim is unmanageable or violent himself.
Caregiver stress may indeed be real, but this does not negate the criminal nature of the offense. After all, society would not tolerate similar actions against children or pets. The victim’s rights and care should be paramount, not the caregiver’s.
Abusers are not likely to want to give up their power and control. And the rate of successful rehabilitation of abusers is low. The key is to alert the police and Adult Protective Services so that the caregiver and victim are separated as quickly as possible. Never hesitate to act on your suspicions.
By Deborah Hoskins, JD, CFP
The Wise and the Wary Blog