PohWER provide advocates and further information about advocacy that can help if you feel you need better support ensuring your loved ones wishes are being carried out.
Abuse of people by their carers DOES happen, financially, emotionally or by physical neglect. Advocacy can also provide reassurance and protection if you are making a lot of decisions for another adult and are concerned your intentions might be misinterpreted.
Very often, written consent is needed from the person you care for to discuss their finances or medical issues. Consent is then often considered to be granted until it is revoked. This is useful in terms of practicalities but disempowering for the victim of crime and encourages a level of dependency that might not be helpful in the long term. You may also find yourself providing ‘too much care’ that is actually trapping both of you in a situation that’s both unhealthy and prevents recovery. Read our information about Empowerment.
If it is likely that the person will require long-term or permanent support to manage their own affairs, put things on a legal footing, either through a Power of Attorney, Guardianship or through the Mental Capacity Act. There is more information about making decisions for someone on this government website.
Employers, financial organisations, schools or colleges for example, can sometimes put great pressure on victims of crime and their carers to make decisions. This is often because they require certainty or resolution but that may not be best for you or your loved one. If your loved one isn’t ready to make a decision, explain the situation and ask that they contact you again in for example, 3 months. You won’t be able to delay things forever, but a lot can change with the passage of time and allows space to think things through more rationally.
Banks, credit card and mortgage companies all have policies that will allow debts and interests to be frozen in times of distress or hardship. They will expect regular contact but they are usually very understanding. There is more information about money and finances here.
Employers should follow the guidance of medical experts and occupational health professionals and there are legal protections to ensure that your loved one’s employment or dismissal is dealt with fairly, especially if they are disabled (or living with a long-term health issue). If your loved one belongs to a Union, make sure they are aware of your situation. There is more information about work and employment here.
Schools, univeristies and particularly FE colleges where attendance is part of the pass / fail criteria for a particular course can add considerable distress to young people who are recovering from violent or sexual crime. There is more information about education here.