The Center for Elder Law & Justice has been awarded funding through the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to provide enhanced training and services to end abuse in later life in Niagara County. The agency will partner with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the district attorney of Niagara County, and Pinnacle Community Services to provide training programs to law enforcement, prosecutors, units of local government, victim service providers, and other organizations in recognizing and addressing instances of elder abuse.
The partners will also develop a multidisciplinary, trauma-informed, collaborative community response to bring awareness to the issue of elder abuse, create a more unified partnership within Niagara County, and educate community partners who interact with older adults on a daily basis.
More than 30 separate organizations located in Niagara County signed letters of commitment to participate in this project, including institutions of higher education, law enforcement, service providers and hospitals.
Center for Elder Law & Justice CEO Karen Nicolson said, “Elder abuse is an extremely underreported crime, and there is a true need to provide resources to service providers and those who work with seniors on a daily basis, so that they are able to identify signs of abuse, and address them. As experts in the field of elder abuse prevention, our staff is well equipped to lead this project and we are so grateful to be given the opportunity to spearhead this effort in Niagara County.”
Niagara County Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti said, “This is an important initiative to ensure all the citizens of Niagara County are protected and have a voice. The law enforcement community is committed to ensuring our members receive the proper training in assisting the elderly population in every possible way.”
Congressman Brian Higgins said, “The National Institutes of Health reports that 1 in 10 adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected or financially exploited. Elder abuse robs seniors of their dignity and security. We commend the Center for Elder Law & Justice and coalition agencies for their leadership and partnership on this effort. Western New York seniors will be better protected and served thanks to this $400,000 federal grant.”
New York State Sen. Rob Ortt said, “Today’s announced commitment to the Center for Elder Law & Justice outlines a critical step towards ending elder abuse in our state. By continuing their partnership with our sheriff, our district attorney, and countless community organizations, the center is providing real leadership on what is undoubtedly an essential service for our elder communities. I am proud to call the center a friend, and I thank them and the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women for acknowledging and enhancing the role we all play in improving older adults’ quality of life in New York.”