EFPN kicked off the Call to Action: Elder Justice Act petition with a whirlwind week in Washington, D.C. in tandem with the Older Women’s League’s 29th annual Mother’s Day Policy Briefing on Capitol Hill May 12 during Elder Abuse Awareness week. This year OWL focused on women and elder abuse.
Anywhere from 500,000 to 5 million individuals suffer from the affects of abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation in any given year. Women make up an estimated two-thirds of the victims of these crimes.
EFPN was in D.C. to help highlight the release of “Elder Abuse: A Women’s Issue”, OWL’s latest report, and encouraged people who care about our treasured elders to sign onto the Elder Justice Act petition.
Just over a week later nearly 700 people have signed on to the petition to protect our elders and we aren’t going to stop until our national leaders take notice and pass significant legal protections for our seniors.
While I was in Washington, Ellie Sue Schafer, director of the visitors’ office of the White House, the inspiration of the proclamation in 2004, which is now a nationwide if not an international campaign, gave me a special tour of the president’s house. Schafer has been a longtime EFPN friend and is a strong senior advocate.
On a local note, prior to going to Washington, EFPN joined San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris; Assemblymember Norma Torres (D-Pomona), who authored the Elder Abuse Act (AB 768); Police Chief Heather Fong and senior advocates to urge support for the bill’s passage.
AB 768 will strengthen California’s Penal Code making it easier to investigate and prosecute crimes against seniors (see EFPN’s AB 768 blog post).
This is very important, as the bill includes strong punishment for criminal acts of financial abuse against elders. It recognizes the urgency as financial exploitation of seniors has increased 150 percent within the past 10 years causing monetary losses estimated to be several billion dollars annually.
Get your family and friends involved by getting them to sign onto the EJA petition link to protect our treasured elders. We also encourage you to stay up to date with progress of this petition, significant legislation, and other tips to protect yourself and advocate for seniors by getting rapid updates with EFPN Twitter and becoming a EFPN Facebook fan.