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Blog Post

Honoring Elder Abuse Awareness Month

Courtesy of
Laura L. Rogers, Interim Head, Office on Violence Against Women

This June 15, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) invites you to join us and others across the country in Lifting Up Voices of older survivors for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2019. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), first commemorated on June 15, 2006, brings to focus the issue of elder abuse by sharing information about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults and by promoting the resources and services that work to increase victim safety and improve offender accountability. The Lifting Up Voices theme serves as a platform for unifying the Elder Justice and Violence Against Women fields by sharing the lived experiences of older people.

Lifting Up Voices supports the message of the National Center on Elder Abuse’s (NCEA) existing WEAAD theme, Building Strong Supports for Elders, which calls upon communities to work to create a social structure that allows individuals to thrive as they age. Engaging and empowering older adults provides them with the support they need to advocate for themselves and their communities.

The theme also has direct ties to the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life’s (NCALL) newest draft video project, Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors, co-created with Terra Nova Films and funded by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). This collection of video clips shares the lived experiences and resiliency of a number of older survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and financial exploitation. In addition to revealing the heart and incredible strength of these older survivors, the videos also cast a light on the work that is carried out by advocates and the justice system, throughout the country, to lift up the voices of older survivors and to hold their offenders accountable for their crimes.

OVW has worked to support older victims for more than a decade.  Since 2006, 115 communities throughout the United States have received funding through OVW’s Enhanced Training and Services to End Abuse in Later Life Program (Abuse in Later Life Program). The Abuse in Later Life Grant Program has enabled these communities to conduct trainings, develop victim services, create or enhance a coordinated community response, and conduct outreach activities—all with the intent of reaching older survivors, developing wraparound services to support them, and holding offenders accountable.

This June, make plans to join national events and get involved in your own local WEAAD events.

Below are video inks to recent events commemorating WEAAD

NCALL and NCEA will offer a premiere showing of the draft video series, Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors, funded by Office for Victims of Crime, and explore how the WEAAD 2019 theme, Lifting Up Voices and other initiatives are raising awareness about older survivors throughout the country.

As part of its commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Department of Justice, through the Elder Justice Initiative and the Office on Violence Against Women, hosted a roundtable discussion with judges from around the country who shared their views and experiences from the bench presiding over elder abuse or financial exploitation cases.


For additional information and resources visit:

U.S. Department of Justice, Elder Justice Initiative

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living

National Center on Elder Abuse, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Microsite

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation, visit the U.S. Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative webpage. To talk to someone confidentially for support and information, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. To find your local sexual abuse victim service program, call the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE).


Updated January 20, 2021