When Is It A Crime

If you know of an Ontario senior who is being victimized by any one of these criminal actions, please call your local police agency or CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

While it is not a good idea to jump to conclusions, the signs and symptoms listed below should not be ignored.

Possible Signs of Elder Abuse:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Fear, uneasiness
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal or passivity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Missing personal belongings
  • Lack of food, clothing or other necessities
  • Unusual bank withdrawals
  • Unusual legal activity related to wills or other documents

Physical Abuse
Is the use of physical force that causes pain, discomfort or injury or that is excessive and/or inappropriate in the circumstance or (b) inappropriately administering or withholding of medication.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  •  Overmedicating, withholding necessary medications
  • Inappropriate use of a restraint
  •  Rough handling, shaking
  • Pushing, pulling
  • Slapping, hitting
  • Kicking, pinching, beating, twisting
  • Overmedicating, withholding necessary medications
  • Inappropriate restraint use

Possible indicators:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained bruising, burn marks
  • Unexplained “accidents”
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Signs of under/over medicated

Criminal Code Offences – Physical Abuse:

  • Assault (Sec 265 C.C.)
  • Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm (Sec. 267 C.C.)
  • Aggravated Assault (Sec. 268 C.C.)
  • Sexual Assault With a Weapon, Threats to a Third Party or Causing Bodily Harm (Sec. 272 C.C.)
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault (Sec. 273 C.C.)
  • Forcible Confinement (Sec. 279 C.C.)
  • Murder (Sec. 229 C.C.)
  • Manslaughter (Sec 234 C.C.)

Financial Abuse
Any theft or misuse of money or property which include: household goods, clothes, jewelry, withholding funds and/or fraud.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Theft of money or belongings
  • Forcing a person to sell possessions
  • Wrongful use of power of attorney
  • Forcing someone to change his/her will and/or power of attorney
  •  Fraud

Possible indicators:

  • Unexplained or inability to pay bills
  • Refusal to spend money without “permission”
  • Unexplained disappearance of personal belongings
  • Changed Power of Attorney or Will
  • Not spending money
  • Large unexplained withdrawal from bank account

Criminal Code Offences – Financial Abuse:

  • Theft (Sec. 322 C.C.)
  • Theft by Holding Power of Attorney (Sec. 331 C.C.)
  •  Stopping Mail with Intent (Sec. 345 C.C.)
  • Extortion (Sec. 346 C.C.)
  • Forgery (Sec. 366 C.C.)
  • Fraud (Sec. 380 C.C.)

Emotional Abuse
Any action or behavior that may diminish a senior’s sense of well-being, dignity or self- worth.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to treat a senior as an adult
  • Making decisions for a senior unnecessarily
  • Talking in a tone that suggests the senior is a child
  • Talking about the senior that suggests he or she is not part of the conversation
  • Threatening, insulting, intimidating or humiliating gestures, behavior or remark Imposed social isolation including: shunning, ignoring, lack of acknowledgement

Possible Indicators:

  • Depression
  • Tearfulness
  • Exclusion from family gatherings
  • No visitors/ outings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawn
  • Psychological/emotional complaints

Criminal Code Offences – Psychological (Emotional) Abuse – Criminal Code Offences:

  •  Intimidation (Sec 423 C.C.)
  • Uttering Threats (Sec 264.1 C.C.)
  • Harassing Telephone Calls (Sec. 372.3 C.C.)

Verbal Abuse
Any form of verbal communication of a belittling or degrading nature which may diminish the senior’s sense of well-being, dignity or self-worth.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Shouting
  •  Inappropriate tone of voice or manner of speaking which is upsetting or frightening
  • Any form of verbal communication of a belittling or degrading nature which may diminish the senior’s sense of well-being, dignity or self-worth.
  • Sarcasm, mocking

Possible indicators:

  • Witnessed or overheard confrontational or inappropriate language and tone of voice
  • Depression
  • Tearfulness
  • Fearfulness
  • Exclusion from family gatherings, no visitors/ outings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawn
  • Psychosomatic complaints

Criminal Code Offences – Psychological (Emotional) Abuse – Criminal Code Offences:

  • Intimidation (Sec 423 C.C.)
  • Uttering Threats (Sec 264.1 C.C.)
  • Harassing Telephone Calls (Sec. 372.3 C.C.)

Sexual Abuse
Any non-consensual touching, behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature or sexual exploitation directed towards an older adult by any other person.
Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Sexual touching, fondling
  • Sexual assault
  •  Inappropriate sexual language or joking of a sexual nature that is demeaning
  • Seductive language or acts
  • Suggestive comments
  • Humiliating comments or behaviour of a sexual nature

Possible Indicators:

  • Genital infections
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Pain, bruising, bleeding in genital area
  • Emotional indicator including withdrawal, depression, fear, tearfulness

Sexual Abuse – Criminal Code Offences:

  • Sexual Assault with a weapon, causing bodily harm (Sec. 272 C.C.)
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault (Sec. 273 C.C.)

Neglect
The failure to provide a senior with the care and assistance required for health, safety or well-being, and includes inaction or a pattern of inaction that jeopardizes the health or safety of that person.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to provide medical attention
  • Failure to listen and respond to expressed needs or concerns
  • Failure to provide proper nourishment and fluids
  •  Failure to change incontinent residents or respond to calls for assistance
  • Failure to facilitate participation in activities and programs and other forms of socialization

Possible Indicators:

  • Failure to thrive
  • Malnourished, Dehydrated
  • Poor Living Conditions
  • Odor
  • Incontinence Products not Changed
  • Under/ over medicated

Active Neglect – Criminal Code Offences:

  • Failure to provide the necessaries of Life (Sec 215 C.C)
  • Criminal negligence causing bodily harm or death (Sec. 220, 21 C.C.)