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Elder Justice: Share a Story


On May 22nd in theatres across the United States, actor William Mapother – best known for his role as Ethan in the television series Lost – will ask all Americans to join him in the fight to end elder abuse and restore rights for older Americans.

Unfortunately, no one is guaranteed to be free from abuse in our latter years. Elder abuse affects millions of citizens each year in the United States and cuts across gender, racial, ethnic, religious, geographic and socio-economic lines. Perhaps even more importantly, the problem is only poised to grow as the boomer generation starts to retire. So it’s vital that we come together, bring this problem out of the shadows and speak up about an issue that has or will affect each of us personally, whether when our own basic rights are violated or when elder abuse happens to someone we may know.

Over the course of the last two decades, the National Center on Elder Abuse – a program of the Administration on Aging – has been working diligently to bring attention to this issue. Their Join Us Now campaign which sponsored the elder abuse information piece above is only part of a larger effort to bring the issue of elder abuse out of the shadows. WITNESS and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) are supporting this effort by asking you to share your stories about elder abuse as well as your though on how we can stop this crisis. My own personal story is below and also in this piece I wrote a few weeks ago.

Next month, as part of our partnership to end elder abuse with NCOA, we will be at the University of Southern California to train elder justice advocates from across the country how to use video to advocate for elder rights. Our two main goals will be:

1) to bring elder abuse into the national spotlight by empowering elders to share their stories and communicate their needs to key decision-makers;

2) to secure the passage of the Elder Justice Act so we can have a federal foundation on which to build security, dignity and equality for community members who have given us a lifetime of contributions.


There are a number of ways you too can help make a difference and get engaged in the fight to build a society that protects the rights of all its members. Here are a few:

1) Help Raise Awareness About Elder Justice

In addition to emailing your friends and family to let them know about this campaign, you can also join the WITNESS email list where we’ll post regular updates about this campaign.

2) Share your story about elder abuse

Join the conversation on the Hub by leaving a comment below or uploading a video about Elder Justice (to upload, join the Hub now – it’s easy and free). Make sure to tag your video “Elder Justice”. You can also add your story to NCOA’s website by clicking here.

3) Stay Informed!

Subscribe to our Video for Change newsletter and join the NCOA network.

And finally, a special word to Bloggers & Vloggers… Help us spread the word – if you blog about the Elder Justice Campaign, please send us an email or a tweet (@witnessorg)… Also, if you want to add a Hub button on your blog, get one here!

This post originally appeared on the WITNESS Hub.

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