Virginia Legal Definition of Abuse

Nursing Home and Elder Neglect and Abuse – Definitions

Virginia Legal Definition of Abuse

In Virginia, Abuse or Neglect of an incapacitated adult is a crime under Va. Code 18.2-369.

Under this code provision, abuse means (i) knowing and willful conduct that causes physical injury or pain or (ii) knowing and willful use of physical restraint, including confinement, as punishment, for convenience or as a substitute for treatment, except where such conduct or physical restraint, including confinement, is a part of care or treatment and is in furtherance of the health and safety of the incapacitated person.

You can report abuse in Virginia to Adult protective services or by calling 888-823-3858. Virginia Adult Protective Services typically prosecutes intentional acts of abuse, as opposed to negligence or regulatory violations.

The Virginia Department of Health investigates neglect and regulatory violations involving nursing homes. You can file a complaint on line HERE. You can also contact the division of enforcement directly at 800-533-1560 or 804-367-4691.

If the neglect involves an assisted living facility the complaint must be filed with the Department of Social Services. You should lodge your complaint in the local office of DSS or call the hotline at 888-832-3858.