- You have the right to receive personal assistance without being taken advantage of sexually, mentally, physically, or financially. You have the right to terminate exploitive or abusive relationships. If you feel that a behavior an assistant is displaying toward you is inappropriate, talk to someone you can trust about the situation. It can help to get a second opinion of the situation and how to handle it.
- Remember that criminals often enter through unlocked doors and windows. Keep your doors locked, especially at night. If it is a friend at the door, he or she won’t mind waiting for your assistant to open the door.
- If you suspect someone is trying to get into your home, call 911. Even if you’re not sure, it is best to call. If it is an assistant or someone you know, but they are acting suspiciously, call the police.
- Most sexual abuse happens by someone known to the person. Remember you have the right to say NO to any unwanted touch, whether it is a personal assistant, a romantic partner, or family member.
- If you receive an unwanted sexual touch from a personal assistant, be aware that it is a violation of professional ethics, your rights, and the law. Report it as soon as you can to the police. For support, call your local rape crisis center and/or a personal counselor. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, terminate the relationship with your personal assistant.
- Have friends, neighbors, or family handle things that you do not feel comfortable delegating to your assistant (i.e. assistance with financial matters). Let your assistant know through casual conversation that your family and neighbors are watching out for your well-being.
- In cases of child or elder abuse, call the police immediately. Call your local Hotline Abuse number found in your area phone book. Call your vendor agency for further assistance.
Tips for protecting property and personal safety
- Make an inventory. Give a copy of your inventory to your family or friend or insurance agency. If you have a loss, it will help establish proof of value for filing any claims.
- Everything should have a place known to you and should be kept in that place.
- Make it evident — through casual conversation — that you are aware of your surroundings, what you have, and where those items belong.
- Keep an inventory of your consumables. Keeping a mental inventory can help to control purchasing.
- Discuss phone use with your assistant at the time of hire. Detail phone limits while working and responsibilities for any long distance charges. Check your bill for charges that are not recognized as yours. Make phone use part of your employment contract in order to avoid conflict.
- Use extreme caution when allowing your employee to use ATM cards, credit cards, or have access to bank accounts. You, as the employer, do this at your own risk. When terminating an assistant, change you PIN numbers. Ask your assistant for receipts for any purchases, and regularly count your change.
- Use caution when giving your assistant use of your car. It is your responsibility to check with your auto insurance carrier for specifics on liability.
- Upon termination of your assistant make sure you get all keys back. If not, you may wish to change the door locks to your house.