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I was bullied for my mental health disability - I want to raise it with the police but I’m anxious

Hi, I hope this is the right forum. This is long, sorry. I’m not good at being succinct when it comes to verbalising events which have taken place but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible while providing all info. 

Recently, one of my mothers carers made several negative comments to my mother about me, all of which were assumptions she had made about me due to my depression. She alluded to my mother that I was using my depression as an excuse to avoid work, implied I was falsely claiming benefits, and commented on my absence history at work saying I had been off work sick for 6 months and that this was inexcusable as “depression doesn’t last 28 weeks”. I’ve struggled with severe depression since I was 14 and until July worked full time. Only reason I stopped working in July is because my temporary contract came to an end. I am now awaiting a start date for a new full time role. While I had been off work sick in my old job, this was due to a hostile environment, regardless it wasn’t any of the carer’s concern why or if I had been absent from work. I didn’t even work for her company so it’s not as if she was in any way affected by any absence. 

I wasn’t present for this conversation, this was all relayed to me by my mother who rightly got extremely angry and demanded she leave her home. 

My mother made me aware of the things she had been saying about me and I ended up on the phone to the Samaritans for over an hour sobbing and feeling suicidal. It took the lady I spoke to (god bless her) 90 minutes to talk me down from suicidal thoughts. 

Following this incident, this carer proceeded to completely ignore me whenever she visited my mother. She acted entirely like I didn’t exist all while laughing and chatting with my mother as usual. This made me feel extremely unwelcome in my mother’s home and made me feel alienated. I have severe social anxiety and autism as well and her behaviour sent my anxiety soaring whenever she was visiting my mother and confused me because I hadn’t done anything to warrant the treatment she was giving me.  

About a week after her initial outburst to my mum about me, and after ignoring me for a week, she finally broke her silence to criticise me for something she had made a false assumption about. My mother became furious and demanded she leave and made a complaint to the care company she worked for via phone which was ignored. A couple of days after this my mother received notice from the care company that they were withdrawing their services with immediate effect citing abuse from my mother because she was angry over what this carer did. I firmly believe this was retaliatory on the care company’s behalf and that my mother was punished for standing up against this carer for her treatment of me so I believe she was a victim of indirect discrimination for supporting me. 

To get to my point; both myself and my mother believe this bullying from this carer was a hate incident due to my mental health given she made direct referrals to my depression as reason for her outburst. This carer knew of all my mental health conditions listed here and was reminded of them by my mother when she initially began making her comments about me. This carer was upset with me because she believes I don’t do enough to make their lives easier as carers and her outburst came because a chore she decided was my responsibility wasn’t done.  Unfortunately, I am limited in what care I can provide my mother as I work full time while dealing with multiple mental and physical health conditions. Any care I provide my mother is unpaid and at my own personal cost and time. This is why she has carers because I do not live with her and cannot be responsible for the level of care this particular carer believes I should be giving my mother. 

I have spoken to MIND’s legal team and they have advised this is discrimination and I could seek advise from a solicitor and look to sue. I don’t wish to do this because I can’t handle the stress of going through that but I do believe this carer targeted me for my disability and her care company have not taken my formal complaint about her behaviour with the seriousness I feel it warrants. They only partially upheld my complaint and the only
consequence to the carer was she had a few of her home visits to her clients supervised. As if she’s going to be discriminatory while being watched by senior management. This outcome was entirely useless in my opinion and I don’t believe the carer will take anything from it. 

I want to report this to the police now that I’ve given her care company a chance to address her behaviour because I am concerned that if she can be so hostile towards me for my disability then, given she deals with disabled people daily due to her job, I believe she can and will behave like this again towards others, be that a client or a client’s family. I am fortunate that I can advocate for myself but many disabled people can’t and after how she made me feel, I don’t want anyone else to go through that. 

Has anyone reported a hate incident to the police before? How did it go? Was it taken seriously? 

While I don’t like to make comparisons, I’m extremely aware that this is, compared to some hate incidents, minor in terms of what the carer did and I’m scared the police will laugh at me or dismiss my concerns like the care company did. Everything I’ve read about hate crime and incidents says that no matter how small it should be reported even if no actual crime was committed. I have given the company a chance to address it and don’t feel they have responded appropriately. I’m used to having my complaints of unfair treatment dismissed as all my teachers in school laughed at me whenever I tried to tell them about the bullying and I’m scared of this happening with the police because on the surface it seems like a minor issue. If I hadn’t been brought to suicidal feelings based on her behaviour I’d let it go but no one should be made to feel like that because of their disability. No one should have their disability weaponised and used as a tool to be attacked with. 

Any advice?  

Thank you in advance. 



Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,055 Disability Gamechanger
    My advice would be to ask her employers not to send that carer to your mum ever again not sure i would take it any further than that as hopefully it would be an end to the problem.
    Be kind to newer members
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,284 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    I am sorry to read about this unfortunately I don't think it will be a matter for the police as no criminal action has occurred

    This is more about a civil dispute rather than criminal 

    First make official complaint to the care provider and if no result then take to next stage 

    I'm not sure who you report care issues to but there must be an official complaint procedure which you should find on the care provider website or google
  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @woodbine. I should have include this but it was already getting long. My mother did ask her care company not to send her again but they ignored that request. Had they complied, everything that happened after the initial event would not have taken place. 

    @janer1967 this is what I thought as well, but when I did some Googling about it, multiple websites identified the different between a hate crime and a hate incident (an incident being that you were targeted for a protected characteristic but it didn’t amount to a crime) and said that hate incidents should be reported even if no crime occurred so I’m not really sure what to do here. 


  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @janer1967 forgot to mention that I did make an official complaint and they only partially upheld it. My mother also raised safeguarding issues with social services but nothing came of it (no surprise there, they never respond to safeguarding issues). 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,284 Disability Gamechanger
    If you feel it is appropriate to report to police then do so they will advise if it isn't 

    There must be a further body you can report care issues to I will have a look later and see if I can find something 
  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @janer1967 that’s very kind of you, thank you. I’m autistic as I mentioned so it’s very difficult for me to navigate these situations and understand when it’s appropriate to take something further. I have sadly allowed many situations to go unreported in the past due to my tendency to downplay and minimise what happened. I’m trying to get over this and learn to take a stand when necessary, but it’s difficult to judge sometimes, hence my worry about not being taken seriously or dismissed. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,284 Disability Gamechanger
    The place to look at is called the CARE QUALITY COMMISSION 

    If you put this in Google search it gives you the information you need to progress a complaint 

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