NCJFCJ Observes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - June 15

June 14, 2012

The NCJFCJ is observing the 7th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2012. The NCJFCJ is actively involved in improving the judicial response to elder abuse cases recognizing that these types of cases can present themselves in family, civil, criminal, probate, and juvenile court. Since 2007, the Family Violence Department of NCJFCJ has been convening the seminal Enhancing Judicial Skills in Elder Abuses Cases Workshops for tribal and state court judges and judicial officers across the country and territories. These workshops are in partnership with Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, and the Office on Violence Against Women in the U.S. Department of Justice.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we are providing resources and information to you. This includes facts about elder abuse, some suggested ways to provide judicial leadership around the issues of elder abuse, some testimonials of judges who see these cases, and videos from judges.

The next Elder Abuse Workshop is scheduled for August 12-15, 2012 in Minnetonka, Minnesota. For information about the Elder Abuse Workshops or to register for the upcoming Workshop, please visit www.njidv.orgTo find out how we can provide support for judges in your community on elder abuse issues, please contact 800-527-3223 or email fvdinfo@ncjfcj.org.

We encourage you to wear something purple on June 15, 2012 to show your community you care about ending elder abuse and neglect. 

WEAAD Facts

  • The number of persons over 65 in the United States will approximately double in the next two decades. Persons age 65 and older will represent roughly one in five Americans; compared with one in eight today. Currently, 25% of adult women are age 60 or older. Persons 85 and older are the fastest growing population group in the United States. The life expectancy of individuals is growing; it is likely that the average lifespan of our children will be 100. (U.S. DHHS, Area on Aging, 2009.)
  • Of those 60 and older, 11% reported being abused in 2008. Over 76% of the abusers in reported cases were family members. (Acierno, R., Hernandez-Tejada, M., Muzzy, W., Steve, K. (2009). National Elder Mistreatment Study.)
  • Each year the number of reported cases of elder abuse increases. Even so, about 84% of elder abuse cases are never reported. (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2004.)
  • 56% of reported victims are female, 35% male. (Teaster, NAAPSA, A RESPONSE TO THE ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULTS:The 2000 Survey of State Adult Protective Services 2002.)
  • Of elders who are sexually abused, only 16% report the abuse to police or other authorities. Family members make up 52% of the abusers, 40% are spouses.  Strangers are only 3% of the abusers. (Acierno, R., Hernandez-Tejada, M., Muzzy, W., Steve, K. (2009). National Elder Mistreatment Study.)

Judicial Leadership

Elder abuse cases are complex and demand that judges and other professionals identify solutions that are least restrictive and promote autonomy.

Multi-disciplinary collaborations can prove most effective because of the increased array of resources, coordination of efforts, and shared knowledge of the professionals. Judges should consider the promotion of such teams in their communities. This ultimately will help the courts improve their response to victims and enhance victim safety.

A judge is only as effective as the resources available and the extent to which they are coordinated. The court may have a role in violence prevention through public education and helping to change attitudes about, and responses to, elder abuse.

Courtrooms can be made more elderly friendly. For some examples, click here.  

Elder Abuse Resources

AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people age 50 and over have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. They have some resources on elder abuse.

Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE)
CANE is the Nation's largest computerized collection of elder abuse references and resources.

National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)
NCVC provides resources for all types of victims of crime. They include domestic violence and other websites for every state; elder abuse posters that can be ordered from NCVC; a discussion forum for both victims and professionals; overview of elder abuse laws and policies; and regularly-updated news stories from across the country. 

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
NCALL is a project of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). The website provides a variety of resources about abuse in later life. Many of the documents are downloadable and several are in Spanish.

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA)
The mission of NCPEA is to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons and adults with disabilities through research, advocacy, services, treatment, public and professional awareness, interdisciplinary exchange, and coalition building. NCPEA publishes the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect. Subscriptions are free of charge to members.

Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention
The San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention is a network of 90 public and private agencies, which was formed to address the needs of abused and vulnerable seniors.

U.S. Administration on Aging (AOA)
AOA offers resources on all aging topics, including elder abuse. It houses the National Center on Elder Abuse, which serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. The AOA website is aimed at older persons and their families, practitioners and other professionals, the aging network, and researchers and students. It includes funding alerts, fact sheets, statistics, advice on website development, extensive web links, and much more.

U.S. Department of Justice
Links to organizations and resources on elder abuse.

For more information on elder abuse training and technical assistance, click here.  

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