Adult Abuse

What to do when you suspect adult abuse or neglect?
The Adult Protection Law requires any person who has a reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect to make a report immediately to the Bureau of Elderly & Adult Services (BEAS).

Call (603) 271-7014 or toll Free from within NH at (800) 949-0470.

Who should report abuse or neglect?

Any person who has a reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect.

Make a Report

  • If you suspect abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation you must call BEAS.
  • Proof of abuse or neglect is not required to make a report.
  • Reports are confidential and can be anonymous.
  • The Adult Protection Law does not allow BEAS to release your personal information to anyone unless you agree or a court orders BEAS to do so.

Helpful Information

When you contact BEAS, you will be asked for some information. You may not have all the answers. Just tell us what you know regarding:

  • The name, address, telephone number, sex, and estimated age of the vulnerable adult.
  • The name, address and phone number of a guardian or someone who is legally responsible for the individual.
  • The full nature and extent of the individual's injuries, maltreatment, or neglect and where the incident/situation occurred.
  • The type of living arrangement for the individual.
  • Any information about previous injuries, abuse, maltreatment, or neglect.
  • How great a risk you believe this may be to the individual.
  • How you learned of this situation.
  • Any action that has been taken to treat or assist the individual.
  • The name, address, phone number, sex, and relationship of the person believed responsible for the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the individual.
  • Your name, address and phone number.
  • Any other information that could be helpful.

Sometimes people are unsure if a situation is abusive. Even if you're in doubt, call. BEAS has extensive experience in adult protection. BEAS may find no abuse or neglect has taken place but may still offer assistance to the individual.

Where to report abuse or neglect

  • Contact BEAS from 8:00 am -4:30 pm, Monday-Friday at (800) 949-0470 or (603) 271-7014.
  • For Nursing or Assisted Living Facilities – Contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (800) 442-5640 or (603) 271-4375.
  • Call 911 or the local police after hours, weekends or holidays.

Adult Protective Services Brochure - "Abuse Hurts At Any Age"

The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) carries out the legal requirements of the Protective Services to Adults Law under the Adult Protection Program. The purpose of the law, which is civil and not criminal, is to provide protection for vulnerable adults who are age 18 and older, who are abused, neglected, exploited, or self-neglecting.

Adult Protection Program activities include:

  • The receipt and investigation of reports of alleged emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, and/or self-neglect, and referral to law enforcement agencies as necessary;

  • The determination of the validity of the report and the need for protective services; and

  • The provision of and/or arrangement for the provision of protective services when necessary, and when accepted by the adult who has been determined to be in need.

The Adult Protection Law requires any person who has a reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect to make a report to the appropriate state agency or office.

The responsibility to receive and investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of vulnerable adults under NH's Adult Protection Law, is determined based on a vulnerable adult's living arrangement or situation, as outlined below:

  • If you suspect or believe that you are, or someone else is, being abused, neglected, self-neglecting or exploited the Adult Protection Law requires that you report this to the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, Adult Protective Services. To report abuse of a vulnerable adult  Call: 800-949-0470 or 603-271-7014.

  • Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is responsible to receive initial reports involving vulnerable adults who are residents of nursing facilities or assisted living facilities. Use the Facility Initial Report Transmittal Form when submitting a facility report.

  • The APS Central Intake Unit is also responsible to receive information and determine whether an investigation needs to be initiated for reports involving vulnerable adults who are suspected to have been abused, neglected or exploited in their own homes by individuals paid to provide care, or while receiving care in a community, general or specialized hospital, rehabilitation center or other treatment center.