Abuse & Neglect


Abuse of adults (age 18+) may include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, as well as neglect and/or financial exploitation. Many social factors, including a lack of social supports and community resources, can increase the risk for abuse and neglect. By being aware of risk factors and signs of abuse and neglect, we can make a difference.



Emotional & Behavioral Signs

  • Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
  • Fearfulness or anxiety
  • Isolation and non-responsiveness
  • Depression

Physical Signs

  • Broken bones, bruises, or welts
  • Cuts, sores, or burns
  • Untreated bed sores
  • Torn or soiled clothing
  • Poor living conditions or uncleanliness
  • Poor nutrition or dehydration
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
  • Lack of medical aids (i.e. glasses, walker, dentures, medications)

Financial Signs

  • Unusual changes in bank accounts or money management
  • Unusual or sudden changes in a will or other legal/financial documents
  • Fraudulent signatures on documents
  • Unpaid bills



  • Learn the signs of abuse/neglect.
  • Stay connected. Social isolation can increase vulnerability to abuse/neglect.
  • Be cautious and aware of scams, particularly while using the phone and internet.
  • Talk with those you trust – family, friends, medical providers, etc.



If you would like to report suspected elder abuse, you can contact the Elder Abuse Hotline website at www.reportelderabusewi.org.  You can find the printable program materials under the Resources tab on the website. Individuals are also able to report elder abuse on the website under the Report Elder Abuse tab or by calling the Hotline at 1-833-586-0107

Or you can contact your local Human Services Department. (Reporters names are kept confidential.) While reporting is easy to do, know that most cases of abuse/neglect go unreported. Do not assume that a report has already been made.

Pepin County Human Services
Phone: (715) 672-8941

Pepin County Sheriff’s Department
Phone: (715) 672-5944

Buffalo County Human Services
Phone: (608) 685-4412

Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department
Phone: (608) 685-4433