To heighten the visibility of elder abuse and to give elders and advocates a voice in affecting policy change, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and WITNESS partnered with the Elder Justice coalition to create Elder Justice Now early in 2009.
In June 2009, NCOA and WITNESS trained 17 elder rights advocates from around the nation in video advocacy.
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Video advocacy uses video and the power of the Internet to put a human face on an issue and affect change. In this case, it is being used to seek passage of the Elder Justice Act, legislation that has been under consideration by Congress for more than a decade.
Breaking the Silence: Elder Rights Advocates Speak Out on Elder Abuse
By October, with the help of the elder rights advocates, the campaign had collected over 150 video stories from victims, caregivers, law enforcement personnel, and advocates. The stories are being shared with members of Congress, their staff as well as with the media and other advocay groups in conjunction with other traditional grassroots advocacy strategies.
Also in October, a documentary “An Age for Justice: Elder Abuse in America” premiered at a Capitol Hill briefing. It shines the light on elder abuse, what one of the interviewees called “a dark mark on our humanity.”
Elder abuse is a silent issue. It robs the nation’s elders of their dignity, their security and, in some cases, costs them their lives. But, the voices of America’s frail and vulnerable elders are rarely heard.
What has changed is that we are listening. We are watching.
The stories on this site let Congress, the media and you know why passage of the Elder Justice Act is essential.
You too can join take action and urge Congress to pass the Elder Justice Act now!
To learn more about NCOA and WITNESS, please read the About Us section.