Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, joined United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
“From the Palouse to the Cascades, and from the small towns to the big cities, respect for our elders is a principle we can all live by in the Eastern District of Washington,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Having safe and strong communities means protecting our seniors, who can be among our most vulnerable—and are often the same people who have protected all of us when we have been vulnerable ourselves.”
U.S. Attorney Waldref’s comments dovetailed with the comments of Attorney General Garland. “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. The Justice Department has worked to expand our capacity to prevent elder abuse, prosecute perpetrators of that abuse, and protect and support elderly survivors.”
The Attorney General also noted several DOJ initiatives designed to protect and enrich the lives of the Nation’s seniors. “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.”
U.S. Attorney Waldref concluded by joining Attorney General Garland’s call for the United States to be a leader in the prevention of 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 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.