Abuse & Neglect

In Case of Emergency or 

Life-Threatening Situation

Call 9-1-1

9-1-1 Resources for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing‚Äč

 

Publications

Helpful Links

Services

  • Adult Protective Services – Adult Protective Services staff investigate reports of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or financial exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves due to a physical or mental limitation. APS staff assess the need for protective services and provide services to reduce the identified risk to the adult. Report abuse: Call Toll Free 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366) or use secure site to report online
  • Child Protective Services – Everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter under state law. Any person with reasonable cause to believe or knowledge of a child is being abused or neglected must, under the law, immediately report to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services or to local law enforcement (See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 37-1-403(a)(1)). The reporter can remain anonymous. Call the Child Abuse Hotline to report child abuse or neglect in the State of Tennessee 877-237-0004 or use secure site to report online
  • Department of Intellecutal and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD)  – DIDD's Protection from Harm Investigations Unit conducts internal administrative investigations into allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, unexplained serious injuries and questionable or suspicious deaths for people who receive services through DIDD. Call the DIDD Abuse Hotline for reporting allegations anywhere in the state 888-633-1313.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline - Robust list of resources for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Hotline number 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  • Collaborative Response to Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse (CREVAA) - CREVAA serves all 95 counties in Tennessee and strives to address the unmet needs of elder and vulnerable adult victims of crime by providing local advocates in each area to ensure direct services are provided to victims of crime.  
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman - This program provides assistance to Tennesseans residing in nursing homes, homes for the aged, and assisted care living facilities. The Ombudsman is available to help residents and their families resolve questions or problems and will advocate for solutions to problems for qualified residents of long-term care facilities. For more information, they can be reached by phone at 877-236-0013. 
  • The Joint Commission - An accrediting body who accredits various entities who provide services for people with disabilities. You can file a complaint or report a concern about Patient Safety including, but not limited to, concerns relating to abuse and neglect to the Joint Commission. This does NOT relieve you of your obligation to make a report to Adult Protective Services (for reports of abuse of individuals 18 years and older) or the Department of Children’s Services (for any abuse of any child in Tennessee)(See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 37-1-403(a)(1) and Tenn. Code Ann. Section 71-6-103(b)).  
  • CARF - This organization accredits some providers. If you or your loved one is receiving services in a facility or by a CARF accredited provider, and you experience substandard care, then you can submit feedback or file a complaint with the CARF Accrediting body.
  • Tennessee Fire Marshal's Office - File complaints pertaining to fire safety and codes violations with the Fire Marshal's Office.
  • Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS)  - TDMHSAS investigates complaints of abuse, neglect or fraud against licensed organizations. Complaints can be made by phone through regional offices: East TN: 866-777-1250; Middle TN: 866-797-9470; and 866-344-0858.
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Medicaid Fraud Unit - To report TennCare provider fraud or patient abuse in Tennessee, call the TBI's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Hotline at 1-800-433-5454 or email a report to TBI.MedicaidFraudTips@tn.gov.
  • Tennessee Department of Health Investigation Unit - The Department of Health has the authority for various licensing boards whose responsibilities are to protect the public interest. To file a complaint against a health care practitioner you may do so online or contact the Complaint Divisions of the Department of Health at 1-800-852-2187 to request a complaint form.
  • Tennessee’s District Attorney’s General Conference’s (TNDAGC) - The first step in most criminal prosecutions of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults is calling the police and making a report. However, in many instances where a police report has already been made individuals can contact their local district attorney’s office and discuss their specific concerns and systemic concerns with that District Attorney’s Office. You can find your local District Attorney's Office at their website.
  • Local Bar Associations - Many local bar associations (associations of attorneys) have lawyer referral and information service programs where often free consultations are provided by phone or in person. Regional Bar Associations can also be reached by phone:
    • Memphis Bar Association            901-527-3573
    • Nashville Bar Association            615-242-9272
    • Knoxville Bar Association            865-522-6522
    • Chattanooga Bar Association       423-756-3222
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Information

  • History of the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) System  Information about the P&A system, a federally mandated program originally intended to protect persons housed in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities from abuse and neglect, which DRT is a member of.
  • Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook - Critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary that examines the impact of the horrors of the notorious Willowbrook State Institution for the developmentally disabled on the survivors and their families. 
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline - Robust list of resources for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Hotline number 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  • Domestic Violence Handbook  - Handbook that answers many questions about legal rights and information relating to Domestic Violence that is produced by the Knoxville Bar Association and it’s Lawyer members. 

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal advocacy services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

Middle Tennessee (Admin Office)

2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Phone: 615-298-1080
Fax: 615-298-2046

East Tennessee

9050 Executive Park Drive, Suite 101-B
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-670-2944
Fax: 865-470-7028

West Tennessee

1407 Union Avenue, Suite 1015
Memphis, TN 38104

Phone: 901-458-6013
Fax: 901-249-2933