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Press Release

Statement of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today made the following statement in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting and supporting the most vulnerable among us, including by advancing elder justice. Elder abuse, fraud, and neglect remain urgent problems in our country, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new wave of exploitative practices targeted at seniors.

“Over the past 15 months that I have served as Attorney General, the Justice Department has worked to expand our capacity to prevent elder abuse, prosecute perpetrators of that abuse, and protect and support elderly survivors.

“To these ends, our Elder Justice Initiative coordinates programmatic efforts to prevent and respond to elder abuse, including by developing training and resources for our partners at all levels of government and beyond. Our grantmaking components have also funded the development of coordinated, multi-disciplinary approaches to advancing elder justice, including Multidisciplinary Teams.

“In addition, Elder Justice Coordinators in each of our 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide are working to successfully prosecute cases of elder abuse, including by supporting our Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. The Strike Force, which was launched and is led by the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, brings together attorneys, agents, and analysts from across the federal government to disrupt and prosecute foreign-based fraud schemes that target American seniors.

“And we continue to expand our capacity to protect and support survivors of elder abuse. This includes a training and technical assistance program to develop and expand statewide Elder Justice Coalitions and our Abuse in Later Life Program, which supports organizations dedicated to assisting older individuals and advancing comprehensive, multi-disciplinary solutions to elder abuse.

“On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Department of Justice joins our partners across America and around the world in reaffirming our commitment to preventing and ending elder abuse in all of its many forms.”

If you need assistance or to report elder abuse, please contact your local adult protective services agency through the Eldercare Locator or by call the helpline at 1-800-677-1116 Monday – Friday 9am - 8pm EST. To report elder fraud, please visit the FBI’s IC3 Elder Fraud Complaint Center or contact the dedicated National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 or 833–372–8311 Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm EST.

Updated June 15, 2022

Elder Justice
Press Release Number: 22-633