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An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America

A Documentary Film to Screen at the District E-5 Boston Police Department

WEST ROXBURY,MA(June 7, 2010) On June 15th at 12:00pm, in honor of the 5th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Ethos will provide a free public screening of An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America at the District E-5 Boston Police Department, 1708 Centre Street, West Roxbury.

Along with a viewing of the moving documentary, guest speakers – including Dan Conley, Suffolk County District Attorney; Sandy Hovey, Director of Ethos Protective Services; and a representative from the Boston Police Department – will provide alarming details regarding elder abuse and its relevance to the greater Boston area.

Elder abuse is not simply physical abuse towards the elder, but includes emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. Caregivers, trusted individuals, or strangers, with the intent to exploit, can all be guilty of elder abuse, whether it is an act of indifference, neglectful, or intentional

Unbeknownst to many, myriad forms of elder abuse occurs in the greater Boston area and seniors everywhere continue to be at risk for mistreatment. Ethos’ Protective Services Program continues to work diligently to bring awareness of elder abuse and its effects on elders themselves, concerned family members, and professionals.

“As the average age of an American citizen grows older, the need to inform and protect seniors is growing more important,” states Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. “Our most fundamental duty as prosecutors is to serve the victims of crime, but we’re committed to preventing elder abuse whenever possible through our partnerships with public, private, and social service agencies. We have a special responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of society, and we embrace our role in the spectrum of services working in concert on their behalf.”

“In 2007, Ethos received 1097 reports of elder abuse in the greater Boston area. Within a span of just two years that number jumped to 1459 reports of abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect for the 2009 fiscal year,” adds Ethos Executive Director Dale Mitchell. “The increase in reported cases of elder abuse has been attributed to a rising population over the age of 60, as well as the impact of stress on families and individuals due to the downturn in the economy. These two factors clearly demonstrate the critical need for an increase in funding, outreach programs and public education to help battle the troubling growing number of cases.”

This documentary has received recognition for illuminating a topic that has been pushed aside; uniting the voices of abused elders, family members, and experts from across the nation. As part of the Elder Justice Now campaign in 2009, committed individuals produced this video to educate and encourage others to take action against elder abuse. This film empowers individuals, allowing them to personally elevate our awareness of the morally offensive and atrocious acts taking place on them or their loved ones.

To learn more about the growing issue among elders in your community, join Ethos at the Boston Police Department in West Roxbury, 1708 Centre Street, in viewing this powerful documentary, dialogue with experts, and recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th. For more info, call (617) 522-6700 or visit www.ethocare.org.