The rate of nonfatal assaults on American men 60 years and older increased 75.4 percent between 2002 and 2016, a new government report estimates, reports CNN. For women, the assault rate increased 35.4 percent between 2007 and 2016.
“These findings highlight the need to strengthen violence prevention among older adults,” concluded the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Unfortunately, few strategies have been rigorously evaluated.”
In Southern California, assaults are also up, not just physical but with financial scams as well. In San Diego, one of the area’s biggest tourist hubs, the area’s district attorney last November launched an initiative to curb the uptick in crimes against the elderly, especially in lieu of the fact that the so-called baby boomers are reaching their senior years.
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan launched a new initiative to go after elder abusers. Those usually include caretakers and even the victims’ children, reports Stephan’s office, in addition to criminals determined to prey on the area’s senior population. Stephan leads the second largest district attorney’s office in California.
In the last five years, Stephan says, the county has seen a 37-percent rise in crimes against seniors. Her office in response has compiled a “blueprint” designed to better protect seniors – defined in the document as those 65 and older.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the effort also focuses on dependent adults, or those younger than 65 who may have restrictive physical or mental limitations.
While the blueprint is the first document of its kind produced by the county, Stephan says it wouldn’t have been possible without many years of focus on crimes against the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Stephan pointed to a specic “blueprint” on the subject that aims to do the following:
—Broaden general understanding of elder abuse, including how it happens as well as signs or symptoms;
—Expand law enforcement officials’ knowledge about recognizing and investigating elder abuse situations;
—Provide a clear set of questions for investigators to ask seniors who may be victims of physical abuse or neglect, as well as financial abuse, all of which are designed to help the victims speak up;
—Develop better coordination with social services organizations and other parties who regularly have contact with seniors in the community.
Officials contend that it is too soon to tell how much of an impact the initiative has had since it was just launched late last year.