King County Council raises awareness of elder abuse

June 15, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 9:05 a.m. June 15, 2010

King County Council members highlighted the importance of safeguarding senior citizens by proclaiming Tuesday as Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The proclamation encourages residents to create a safe community for elderly residents. The ceremonial measure also recognizes the public and private agencies working together to combat elder abuse, including the King County Prosecutor’s Office and the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network. The council issued the proclamation Monday.

“Sadly, many cases of elder abuse involve family members,” Councilmember Kathy Lambert, a past member of the county Domestic Violence Council, and the Issaquah representative on the council, said in a news release. “Many older women who are victimized by partners do not see themselves as abused, but many feel ashamed, embarrassed, depressed and afraid to confide in friends and family. Financial security issues also prevent older women from reporting abuse.”

County prosecutors handle about 350 cases a year related to elder neglect and abuse. The council called for residents to recognize the signs of elder abuse, including physical trauma, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and fear of family members, friends or caregivers. Learn more here or call the Prosecutor’s Office at 206-296-9010.

“Fortunately, King County has a unit in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that specializes in identifying elder abuse and working with police and social service agencies to assist victims,” Lambert continued.

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