Abuse and Neglect

What you should know about abuse, neglect and discrimination in your search for permanent housing.

The following is a list of abusive punishments:

Sexual assault (rape, fondling, exposing genital area, non-consentual kissing, rubbing or touching).

Verbal assault and manipulation (bullying, coercing, belittling, shouting, arguing).

Threatening to place in hospital or nursing home as a way to control.

Threatening to or withholding Spiritual needs (taking Bible away, or not allowing someone to attend church).

Threatening to evict without proper written 30-day notice.

The denial of any of the following can not be used as punishment:

  • adequate food or drink
  • prescribed medication
  • mental health services
  • personal finances

The following is a list of neglectful behaviors that should be reported to the proper authorities:

Failure to assist in:

  • personal hygiene (adequate cleaning and grooming capabilities).
  • the provision of food, clothing, or shelter.
  • to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs.
  • to protect from health and safety hazards.
  • to prevent malnutrition.

Deprivation of social contact and stimulation (isolated/ignored).

Overmedicating may not be used as punishment.

Physical, chemical, or mechanical restraints may not be used as punishment. (Tennessee Code Annotated, § 33-3-120, states “A person with mental illness or serious emotional disturbance may be isolated or restrained only in emergency situations if necessary to assure the physical safety of the person or another person nearby or to prevent significant destruction of property).

During an eviction process (a general period of notice normally provided) the landlord cannot:

  • Lock you out of the apartment or home.
  • Have your lights/water/gas cut off.
  • Take away any of the appliances that came with the apartment/home.
  • Remove your belongings.
  • Threaten you or any of your belongings.