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Victim Specialists

Resources, webinars, training, and victims’ rights information.

Victim Specialists work closely with prosecutors, law enforcement, and other staff members to ensure that elder abuse victims are treated with respect, know their rights, and understand their role within the criminal justice system. They help victims navigate the criminal justice system by providing support, assessing a victim’s needs, developing a safety plan, connecting victims to resources, and identifying gaps in service. They also ensure that staff are informed about elder abuse and the trauma that victims experience. Ultimately, a Victim Specialist wants the victim to experience justice, seek recovery and regain their sense of well-being. This section provides tools, training, and resources for Victim Specialists, as well as valuable information that can be shared with potential elder abuse victims.

Victims’ Rights and Reporting Obligations

Victims’ Rights

The Victims of Crime Act of 1984, the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, and the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 guarantee victims a central role in the criminal justice process. The Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance provide guidance on compliance with the victim rights laws and set forth Justice Department policy on working with victims and witnesses.

Victim assistance personnel in federal agencies can help ensure that elderly crime victims get services and rights mandated by law. The CVRA establishes the rights of crime victims in federal criminal cases. Victim assistance personnel should make their best efforts to ensure that older adults get services at each stage of the criminal justice process and should explain to victims their rights under the law.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act

As victim assistance personnel in federal agencies, it is important to make sure that the needs of our elderly victims are met, such as notification of proceedings, referrals to services, safety planning, the provision of special accommodations such as wheelchairs, hearing devices, travel arrangements, court support and more. The Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance sets forth policy and guidance on assisting our elderly victims and treating them with dignity and respect.

Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance

This law ensures that victims receive mandated services, including referrals to emergency medical and social services, reasonable protection from suspected offenders, notice of the status of the investigation to the extent it is appropriate and will not interfere with the investigation, and notice of court proceedings. Victims are entitled to receive these services from the detection of the crime throughout the case.

The Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA), 34 U.S.C. §20141 (1990)

Reporting Obligations

There are many types of victims' service providers, and mandatory reporting requirements vary from state to state. 

Find your state's mandatory reporting requirements

Please also see the new brief from National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities. This brief focuses on mandated reporting of abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities to Adult Protective Services (APS). While most APS programs consider mandated reporting an essential tool for addressing harm to older adults and adults with disabilities, this brief explores the strengths of mandated reporting as well as the criticisms and questions raised by other professionals.

Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities



Learn More About Elder Abuse and Exploitation

Whether you are new to the field, or have experience in assisting with elder abuse cases, this section has everything from the basics to in depth training about all types of elder abuse.

General Elder Abuse Information

See our EJI library of webinars for elder abuse professionals including some tailored specifically for victim specialists. Learn about what other federal agencies are doing to help older adult victims.

EJI Webinars

Library of webinars on elder abuse and other issues and victim connect hotline.

The National Center for Elder Abuse

Find resources for older veterans on financial exploitation.

Military Consumer: Your First Line of Defense

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Securities Helpline for Seniors


Securities Helpline

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) BrokerCheck Hotline: 800-289-9999


Elder Abuse Training

Interactive elder abuse training and the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit for Victim Specialists. Sign up for the OVC TTAC mailing list and be the first to learn about the latest news and updates of interest to victim specialists.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) has conferences, webinars and Victim Assistance Academy classes for Victim Specialists.

National Organization for Victim Assistance

Elder abuse curriculum including court guidelines, assessment resources, interagency coordination and more for abused elders.

The Center for Elders and Courts

Offers strategies for advocates to meet the needs of abused elders. See their report - Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates and their Abuse in Later Life Education Series for Advocates

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life

Join their list-serve, find elder abuse publications, intervention partners and more.

The National Center on Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Specialty Teams

Information on the role Elder Abuse plays in suspicious deaths of older adults.

Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams: A Replication Manual

Tools, resource materials, and individualized consultations for elder abuse case review multidisciplinary teams.

EJI Multidisciplinary Team Technical Assistance Center (MDT TAC)


Resources to Help Older Survivors

In this section find emergency services, government agencies, legal resources, hotlines and other help for your work with older adults.


Hotlines and Legal Help

Materials to Use in Elder Abuse Presentations

Find ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations, videos and toolkits for outreach to older adults or professionals.

For Outreach to the Public or to Professionals

For Professionals