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Wilmington – Attorney General Beau Biden announced today that his Senior Protection Initiative, along with state agencies, law enforcement, and other advocates will recognize the 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 with events in all three counties. Based on the theme “Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation (SAFE)”, the events are designed to bring greater recognition of mistreatment of older adults and highlight the resources available to victims and their families.
“It’s a sad reality that for every case of senior abuse that is reported to authorities, five more cases go unreported,” Attorney General Biden said. “We’re confronting this epidemic by shining a light on these terrible crimes and responding aggressively against perpetrators. We’re also raising awareness so that Delawareans of all ages can recognize these crimes and stand up for seniors.”
The Delaware events will feature a screening of the documentary An Age for Justice: Elder Abuse in America, remarks by the Attorney General and his staff, and a representative from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service who will speak about financial fraud crimes against seniors. In addition, at each event winning entries of the Senior Protection Initiative’s annual high school YouTube video contest will be screened, and a tree will be dedicated as a lasting reminder of the persistent need to combat these crimes within our families and in Delaware’s communities. Special thanks go to the Delaware Center for Horticulture for donating the trees.
The events will take place at the following times and locations:
New Castle County
Newark Senior Center
200 White Chapel Drive, Newark
Modern Maturity Center
1121 Forrest Avenue, Dover
CHEER Community Center
20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown
Media and members of the public are encouraged to attend and are reminded to wear purple. In addition to the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day events, the cupola at Legislative Hall in Dover will be lit purple on the evening of June 15 and throughout the weekend to show support for the fight against senior abuse.
Attorney General Biden established the Senior Protection Initiative in 2008 to increase educational outreach and bring together state agencies, law enforcement, and other advocates to tackle crimes against seniors. The initiative consists of three components: 1.) expanded public education with programs that highlight the signs of senior abuse, educate seniors about ways to avoid being a victim, and encourage victims to report their abuse; 2.) training to law enforcement, first responders, and service providers to help them recognize and respond to the signs of physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, and 3.) the creation of a Multi-Disciplinary Team consisting of prosecutors, police, social services representatives, and others with the mission to identify and pursue senior abuse cases.
Biden urged anyone aware of a senior being victimized by neglect, physical abuse, or financial exploitation to call Delaware’s Adult Protective Services hotline at 1-800-223-9074, and directed those who suspect a case of senior abuse in a Delaware-licensed residential facility to call the Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection at 1-877-453-0012. To learn more about elder abuse awareness and prevention efforts in the First State, please visit the Senior Protection Initiative webpage at www.dev.gic.dos.state.de.us/ConnectingGenerations.
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