In Delaware and
across the nation, senior citizens are too often the victims
of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Sadly, seniors are often
victimized by members of their own families, or unrelated
individuals, who are responsible for their care. In addition,
unscrupulous individuals who perpetrate various types of fraud
schemes often target the elderly. Seniors who have been the
victims of these crimes may be reluctant, unwilling or unable
to report their victimization.
The Delaware Department of Justice is committed to
investigating and prosecuting those who would take advantage
of our senior citizens.
Since the Fall of 2008, Attorney General Biden's Senior
Protection Initiative has taken new steps to combat elder
more about the Senior Protection Initiative.
If you or a senior citizen who you care about is being harmed
by abuse or neglect or is being taken advantage of by an
unscrupulous individual contact:
* The Delaware Department of Justice at 1-800-220-5424; or
* Delaware Adult Protective Services at 1-800-223-9074; or
* If you or a senior citizen who you care about is in
immediate danger, call 911.
The Delaware Department of Justice works to combat senior
abuse by focusing on the following three efforts:
1. Public Education. The
Department of Justice has expanded its public outreach with
programs that encourage victims to report their abuse,
highlight the signs of senior abuse, and educate seniors about
ways to avoid being a victim.
asked questions about senior abuse.
national clearinghouse for elder abuse information is
housed at the University of Delaware in the Center for
Community Research and Service
2. Law Enforcement
Department of Justice provides training to police agencies and
first responders about ways to detect physical abuse, neglect,
and financial exploitation to ensure that police recognize the
signs of senior abuse.
In April and June 2009, the Attorney General's office held a
two-day statewide training entitled "Recognizing and
Responding to Abuse of the Elderly and the Disabled" for
Delaware law enforcement and first responders. The training
was offered by Attorney General Biden's Senior Abuse
Initiative and hosted by the New Castle County and Harrington
Police Departments, and was designed to educate state and
local police officers, first responders, and other law
enforcement personnel to identify the signs of senior abuse
and ensure that those cases are directed to appropriate
personnel for investigation and prosecution.
Topics that were covered throughout this training included:
* Recognizing the signs of senior abuse and understanding
senior abuse dynamics
* Exploring the correlation between senior abuse and domestic
* Reviewing civil versus criminal statutes and remedies
* Response protocols (recognition, documentation, referral,
* Investigative strategies
These training sessions will continue to be held periodically
to educate law enforcement on fighting abuse of the elderly.
3. The creation of a
Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). Elder abuse programs nationwide have successfully employed
MDTs to open channels of communication between prosecutors,
police, and social services representatives.