(Washington, DC) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On Wednesday, Blumenthal introduced a bipartisan resolution (S.Res.492) with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) that recognizes June 15, 2012 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, calls attention to the problem of elder abuse, and honors those who fight to bring justice to victims of elder abuse. The resolution passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent with the additional support of Senators Durbin (D-IL), Nelson (D-FL), Kohl (D-WI), Wyden (D-OR), and Rockefeller (D-WV).
Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. In that capacity, he chaired a U.S. Senate field hearing in Hartford, Conn. on the topic of elder abuse last summer. This year, Blumenthal introduced the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act (S. 2077), which implements a comprehensive network of elder abuse prevention and intervention measures.
A link to the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act can be found here: http://blumenthal.senate.gov/download/?id=d4c4cfa3-6a1f-4d01-94bd-cc8a65a09b59
A link to S.Res.492 can be found here: http://blumenthal.senate.gov/download/?id=43521a1c-9470-4f61-a544-a057637dca98
The full transcript can be found below:
I want to thank my colleagues on behalf of myself and Senator Kirk for approving yesterday a resolution designating tomorrow, June 15, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The resolution that Senator Kirk and I offered and that this body passed recognizes the scourge that elder abuse represents here in America and around the world. I thank my colleagues for supporting it overwhelmingly and I thank the President of the United States for proclaiming tomorrow, June 15, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. And to Secretary Sebelius for announcing today that $5.5 million in funding for states and tribes will be available to test ways to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
This initiative helps to implement the Elder Justice Act which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, and I believe that this kind of initiative brings together in partnership local, state, and federal authorities and private groups to combat this epidemic. It is a spreading epidemic of abuse of elders. We have statistics that indicate how it is, in fact, spreading. Elder abuse incidents have increased by 150 percent in the last 10 years alone. A recent study of the G.A.O. shows that every year, 14 percent of all non-institutionalized adults are victims of abuse or neglect or exploitation, whether physical or financial or even sexual. So the statistics show a trend that is undeniable.
What's required at the end of the day is more resources. More resources for law enforcement authorities that have such a critical role in protecting those who suffer from it and deterring those who would commit it. And partnerships among state, local, and federal authorities. Those partnerships must seek out and encourage greater reporting so that efforts can be taken to stop and deter it.
I will continue this battle. I thank my colleagues for joining me and for approving this resolution and for demonstrating that we care. We care as a body and as an institution. It is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is truly bipartisan, because this generation has worked hard, accumulated savings, counted on security and is depending on us, trusting us, for their safety. And we know that the number in this age group will only grow – in fact, double – within the next years. And that is why we must address it, and I thank, again, my colleagues for doing so.