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The abuse of vulnerable adults stops with us.

In 2021, vulnerable adults in Minnesota were impacted by:

Allegations of financial exploitation
Allegations of caregiver neglect
Allegations of emotional abuse
Allegations of physical abuse
Allegations of sexual abuse

And these numbers don’t begin to include the many incidents unwitnessed or unreported.

As these figures reveal, abuse can take many forms. For a comprehensive look at how Minnesota’s state statutes define abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults, visit the report section of this website.

Getting It Right

What is the opposite of abuse? Dignity. Respecting the individuality and value of those you encounter, support and/or care for.

An icon showing two hands holding a heart

Care is…

  • listening to and respecting a person’s views and wishes.
  • concerning for a person’s health, safety, and welfare.
  • following laws, rules, and regulations.
  • keeping a person educated and informed.
  • showing compassion and understanding.

Vulnerable adults are real people with real emotions.

“I just want to be treated with respect.”

LindaLiving with dissociative disorder

“I wish that the folks could just take the time.”

SarahLiving with epilepsy

“Show you care.”

CarolLiving with stroke paralysis

“You get the idea that this person really does care about what they're doing.”

JohnLiving with brain injury

“It's important to wait for the person to communicate.”

JadeLiving with severe PTSD and spinal injury
Treat People Like People badge with heart inside of hand. Abuse Stops With Us tagline below.

Together, We Can Stop Abuse

Having a disability often means trusting those who provide their support and care. Too often, that trust can be violated with words or actions. It’s a real problem, with a real solution. One that begins with each of us. Together, we can stop abuse. This site offers tools and resources for those providing care or support and to empower those with disabilities.

About This Project

The Treat People Like People campaign was designed to raise awareness of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities and to educate people with disabilities and their families and guardians, and the general public on how to identify, report and respond to abuse of people with disabilities. The campaign highlights the value and dignity of each person living with a disability. Materials were co-created with people with disabilities, their family members, advocates and professionals in policy and care provision. We thank them all for their generosity of time spent to make this campaign a reality.

The Olmstead Plan – From Idea to Reality

Putting the Promise into Practice: Minnesota’s 2015 Olmstead Plan was designed to move the state forward, towards greater integration and inclusion for people with disabilities so that “Minnesota will be a place where people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting.” Treat People Like People moves Minnesota closer to achieving the Olmstead Plan goal of preventing abuse and neglect of people with disabilities.

The resources and information contained on this website will continue to evolve over time.

Link to Olmstead Office
Link to the prevention of abuse plan that is a subset of the Olmstead Plan

On January 9, 2019, two days after his inauguration, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 19-01, Establishing the One Minnesota Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. He stated:

In Minnesota, we know we are all better off together.

Our state must be a leader in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive. Disparities in Minnesota, including those based on race, geography and economic status keep our entire state from reaching its full potential. As long as inequities impact Minnesotans’ ability to be successful, we have work to do. Our state will recognize its full potential when all Minnesotans are provided the opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilled lives.

Project Partners

minnesota state logo

Office of Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities