Adults at risk: Adults who have a physical or mental condition that impairs their ability to care for their own needs.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACE): Traumatic experiences during childhood such as neglect, abuse, or witnessing violence, substance abuse, mental illness, divorce, or imprisonment of a family member.

Caregiver: A person who has taken responsibility for all or part of an individual’s care.

Dissociation: A break in how the mind handles information, causing a person’s disconnection from their thoughts, feelings, memories, and surroundings.

Elder abuse: An intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult aged 60 or older.

Emotional abuse: Verbal or nonverbal behaviors that inflict anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress, such as humiliation or disrespect, verbal and nonverbal threats, harassment, and geographic or interpersonal isolation.

Financial abuse: The illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of money, benefits, belongings, property, or assets for the benefit of someone other than the individual.

Individual trauma: Trauma resulting from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and can have lasting adverse effects on their functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. Adverse childhood experiences are examples of individual traumas.

Intimate partner violence (IPV): Abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. IPV can include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological aggression.

Mandated reporters: Nurses and other professionals required by state law to report suspected neglect or abuse of children, adults at risk, and the elderly they see in the course of their professional duties.

Neglect: When a parent or caregiver fails, refuses, or is unable, for reasons other than poverty, to provide the necessary care, food, clothing, or medical or dental care, which seriously endangers the physical health of a child or vulnerable adult.

Physical abuse: Injury inflicted on a child or vulnerable adult by other than accidental means. Physical injury includes, but is not limited to, lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, severe or frequent bruising, or great bodily harm.

Resilience: The ability to rise above circumstances or meet challenges with fortitude. Resilience includes the process of using available resources to negotiate hardship and/or the consequences of adverse events.

Resilient zone: A healthy balance of stimulation by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Safety plan: A set of actions that can help lower the risk of a person being hurt by an abusive partner that includes specific information and resources that increases their safety at school, home, and other places visited regularly.

Sexual abuse: Sexual intercourse or sexual touching; sexual exploitation; human trafficking; forced viewing of sexual activity; or permitting, allowing, or encouraging prostitution with a child or vulnerable adult.

Teen dating violence: Intimate partner violence that occurs during adolescence.

Trauma-informed care (TIC): A strengths-based framework that acknowledges the prevalence and impact of traumatic events in clinical practice, placing an emphasis on instilling in patients a sense of safety, control, and autonomy over their life and health care decisions. The basic goals of TIC are to avoid retraumatization; emphasize survivor strengths and resilience; aid empowerment, healing, and recovery; and promote the development of survivorship skills.

Workplace violence: Physically and psychologically damaging actions that occur in the workplace or while on duty. Examples of workplace violence include direct physical assaults (with or without weapons), written or verbal threats, physical or verbal harassment, and homicide.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book