Vulnerable Demographics

When we discuss populations that are “vulnerable” to exploitation, abuse, or neglect, there are a few aspects that we must consider.

  1. Nobody to report abuse to (threat: no help available)
    1. Absence of help
    2. Inability to reach help that is available (example: someone detained being denied their right to an attorney)
  2. Working in secret (threat: being exposed)
  3. Power imbalance (threat: eviction through lawsuit, police, your word mattering less than the word of a higher up in your organization)
  4. Individual having a low direct influence on an organization (example: one student in a school, one prisoner in a prison, one customer complaining to a big company)

Keeping these aspects in mind, we are able to name a few populations who are vulnerable in this aspect:

Students
Homeless
Undocumented
Tenants
Anyone convicted of a crime (Courts sometimes mistakenly declare innocent people guiltyl. Due to this, sometimes innocent people falsely tell the court they are guilty, because that way their prison sentences are lower than if the court were to mistakenly declare them guilty).
Employees
People interacting with the police
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