January 9, 2012
Domestic Violence and Elderly Abuse has grown rapidly across the United States. “The American Medical Association defines domestic violence or ‘intimate partner abuse’ as the physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse to an individual perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner” (Lawrence, 2002, p. 1). Elderly Abuse is another serious problem that Americans are facing daily. Elderly abuse has a range of abusive situations; financially, emotionally, physically, and abuse from a caregiver or family member. This paper will focus on Domestic Violence and Elderly Abuse Policy. Including statistics, facts, and the public opinion on historical information, this paper will support the policy proposition. Adding in information from political and judicial viewpoints will help to implement the policy recommendations. Allowing opinions from the many stakeholders shows the greater impact each position carries with criminal justice policies, procedures, and the law. Relevant Statistics and Facts
When breaking down the numbers of elderly abuse in the United States, one must look at the entire population. An estimation of 35 million people were residing in the United States in 2000. Of those 35 million people, 13% were 65 years or older. Roughly 2% of that 35 million was 85 years or older (Policy Positions on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation, 2003). Growing older means an individual’s senses become weaker so this causes deterioration with the abilities for fighting off criminals who physically attack the elderly. Elderly people will fall prey to abuse because they have become easy targets for crime. Criminals will physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially abuse the elderly because of the easy advantages the criminals carry over the elderly. The numbers for Domestic Violence in the United States is startling with the effects thought of in more than 25 million women. In 2010, intimate partners in Texas saw violence in the relationship. “142 women were killed by their husband or ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. Undoubtedly, additional victims of intimate partner femicide remain uncounted” (Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities in 2010, 2011, p. 2). The statistics only showing from one state can clearly define the Domestic Violence numbers throughout the United States. Domestic Violence can happen anywhere and to any individual. Gender, age, and size has no guarantee over receiving domestic violence. Emotional abuse can play the sole responsibility in people turning away from helping people suffering this abuse. However, emotional abuse is a contributing factor to the physical abuse criteria. “Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe” (Melinda Smith & Jeanne Segal, 2011, p. 6). Resources
Many resources are available for national, state, and local agencies to help elderly Americans live a full life with no abuse. One of those resources is The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). “First established by the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) in 1988 as a national elder abuse resource center, the NCEA was granted a permanent home at AoA in the 1992 amendments made to Title II of the Older Americans Act” (Mission Statement, 2011, p. 1). Another resource that elderly Americans can use for support is the Elder Financial Protection Network (EFPN). This organization is to help in the prevention of financial abuse from caretakers, family members, or friends. Resources that the Elder Financial Protection Network offers are Hiring Help at Home Consumer Guide, Power of Attorney and Adcance Health Directive, Department of Real...