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Summary: the US Department of Justice has launched a website this week to serve as a resource for elder abuse prosecutors, researchers and practitioners, and to victims of elder abuse and their families.
On Monday, the top officials from the US DOJ including Associate Attorney General Tony West and Stuart F. Delery and members of the Department's Elder Justice Initiative launched the Elder Justice Website of the Department in collaboration of other stakeholders in the field of elder abuse and financial exploitation.
The website, besides serving as a resource for those combating elder abuse, will also serve as a forum for law enforcement and elder justice policy communities and help in sharing information and enhance awareness of elder abuse issues.
The DOJ stated in its release that protecting older Americans is one of the top priorities of the Department and that evidence shows that almost one in every 10 individuals above the age of 60 suffers elder abuse. Such abuse may include physical, sexual, emotional abuse and financial exploitation or neglect. The Department also stated that elder abuse depletes the resources of families, businesses, and public programs by billions of dollars each year including Medicare and Medicaid expenses.
Tony West said, "The launch of the Elder Justice website today marks another milestone in reaching our shared goal of keeping older Americans safe from abuse and neglect … The more we embrace our elders with respect and care, the stronger our society will be. This tool helps move us closer to that goal."
Older Americans are often targets of consumer scams, health care fraud and financial exploitation. According to DOJ estimates, older adults in the United States lose more than $2.9 billion annually from financial exploitation.
Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery said on the launch of the website, "While there are many other victim support websites available, we believed that the department could add significant value in this domain by consolidating information nationwide and making it more user-friendly."
Members from the American Bar Association, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Social Security Administration and other bodies and agencies were present for the launch of the website.
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