POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 103 Abuse can happen at any age. It is never acceptable. It is a violation of one’s rights as a human being and it should not be tolerated. If you are being abused you should know: • The abuse is not your fault. • You do not deserve to be abused. • Many types of abuse are against the law; all types of abuse are NOT ACCEPTABLE. • Abuse is not tolerated in any culture or religion. • You have the right to live without fear. • You have the right to have control over your life. • You can not control the abusive person’s behaviour. • Abuse often gets worse over time. • You have the right to be safe and secure. Often when someone is being abused they feel all alone in the world. They may think they are the only person who is being mistreated. You need to know that many people are abused and many people have found ways to deal with these situations. Some people choose to leave the situation while others choose to remain and take steps to ensure they are as safe as they can be. Steps to Become Safer Whatever you choose to do there are some steps that you can take to become safer including: • Tell someone you trust what is happening to you. This may be a family member, friend, a personal support worker who may be helping you around the house, your doctor, a trusted neighbour, a service provider, or anyone else you trust. • Ask others for help if you need it. Be specific, if you can, about what type of help you need. • If someone is hurting you or you do not feel safe you can turn to the police for assistance. Call 911 or call your local police service. • Visit your local library, community centre or other information centres in your community to find out information about services that you could access. If you have access to the internet, and it is safe for you to use a computer to search for this type of information, search on key words such as “abuse”, “elder abuse”, “violence and safety”. Safety Planning for Older Persons Continued