Tenant Abuse and Neglect
You have the right to live in a safe, secure home without fear of abuse or neglect. Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional and generally involves more extreme forms of harm, such as the infliction of pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or other cruel treatment. Abuse can occur even if both adults are dependent.
Examples of abusive punishments include:
- Sexual assault (including rape, fondling, exposing one’s genital area, non-consensual kissing, rubbing, or touching)
- Emotional abuse (including verbal assault, manipulation, bullying, coercing, belittling, shouting, arguing)
- Threatening to place someone in a hospital or nursing home as a means of controlling them
- Threatening to withhold or withholding a person’s freedom to practice their spirituality, such as taking away someone’s sacred scriptures or not allowing them to attend public worship
- Overmedicating someone as means of punishment
- Exploiting someone financially by diverting funds intended for their care or use
Being denied any of the following is considered a form of punishment:
- adequate food or drink
- prescribed medication
- mental health services
- personal finances
- social contact
- social stimulation
Neglect occurs when the basic needs of a dependent adult are not met by their caregiver. Neglect may be unintentional, resulting from the caregiver’s lack of ability to provide or
arrange for the care or services the adult requires. Neglect also may be due to the intentional failure of the caregiver to meet the needs of a dependent adult.
Examples of neglectful behaviors include the failure to:
- assist with personal hygiene (adequate cleaning and grooming)
- provide food, clothing, or shelter
- ensure adequate medical care for physical and mental health needs
- protect from health and safety hazards
- prevent malnutrition
To report abuse and neglect, click here or call the toll free number 1-888-APS-TENN (1-
The Office of Licensure in the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Services is responsible for protecting Tennesseans who receive mental health, substance abuse, and/or personal support services. The office’s goal is to ensure that licensed behavioral health providers adhere to state laws and departmental rules in the care and services they provide.
Please click here to report suspected group home violations.