Getting Help and Who to Call

This web page has information about:

on Vancouver Island and its surrounding islands.

Reporting adult abuse, neglect or self neglect

Your first step is to decide if the situation is an immediate emergency that requires a call to 9-1-1. If you discover a crime or dangerous situation is occurring with an adult, call 9-1-1 to get help immediately.

Reporting crimes to the police

Many types of adult abuse or neglect are crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada. If you have been a victim of crime or you are concerned about someone you know, contact your local police.

Reporting to the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC

Assessment and Investigation Services takes referrals and reviews allegations of financial abuse of vulnerable adults in the community to determine if substitute decision-making authority is required or to investigate the misuse of substitute decision-making authority such as a Power of Attorney.

Reporting to a designated agency

Any resident of British Columbia may report concerns about adult abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult to a Designated Agency when the adult cannot seek help on their own. 

There is no mandatory reporting of adult abuse and neglect in BC.  All health authorities in British Columbia and Community Living BC are Designated Agencies under the Adult Guardianship Act. The identity of a person who makes a report to a Designated Agency must remain confidential.

In British Columbia, Designated Agencies have the authority and responsibility to receive and act on reports of abuse, neglect or self-neglect of “vulnerable” adults who are unable to seek support and assistance on their own due to restraint, physical handicap, illness, disease, injury, or any other condition that affects the adult’s ability to make decisions. 

There are two designated agencies on Vancouver Island.  The Vancouver Island Health Authority and Community Living British Columbia.

Reporting to Island Health (Vancouver Island Health Authority)

Island Health has “designated responders” who investigate reports of abuse, neglect, and self-neglect of vulnerable adults.  

  • Contact the Home and Community Care General Enquiries Line.
  • You may also contact any Island Health program that directly provides an adult with health care services with your concerns if you believe the adult is being abused, neglected or self-neglecting.

Reporting to Community Living BC

Please read their guide: Reporting Adult Abuse and Neglect to CLBC (.pdf) and contact your local CLBC office.

Asking for help or looking for information

Seniors Advocate Line

  • This toll-free phone line provides seniors and their families with support for health-care related issues. It is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 1 877 952-3181 or 250 952-3181 in Victoria.

Seniors Abuse & Information Line (SAIL) 

  • This toll-free phone line is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention. 1-866-437-1940 (toll free)