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Elder Victim Ministry is a volunteer-based program that partners with law enforcement, Adult Protective Services and other community service organizations to identify and respond to at-risk or abused elders aged 60 and older. Elder victims of crime receive safety planning, trauma support, justice system advocacy, emergency financial assistance, and mediation through Elder Victim Ministry volunteers and staff.
Elder Victim Ministry is a program of Crime Victim Services, Inc. Begun in 1992, it is a volunteer-based Christian outreach that assists elder victims (age 60 and older) with safety planning, trauma support, support during investigations and prosecutions, emergency repairs, spiritual support and mediation services. Elders are more vulnerable to victimization due to the functional impairments to vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive abilities that come with aging. Since July of 2011, Elder Victim Ministry has served 425 elder victims of violent and property crimes in Allen County.
Elder Victim Ministry (EVM) watches for and responds to the red flags of elder abuse. Nationwide studies indicate that a county the size of Allen County should be reporting 1,000 cases of elder abuse per year. Allen County Adult Protective Services receives only 10% of that amount annually. EVM scans police reports weekly and also receives partner referrals to identify and respond to crime victims and potential cases of elder abuse. Suspected cases of elder neglect, financial exploitation, physical or sexual abuse or abandonment is reported to Adult Protective Services investigators. After an APS investigation, EVM staff or volunteers follow up on cases to provide emergency financial assistance, safety planning and referrals. Long term follow up is essential in some cases to avoid re-victimization. Since July of 2011, EVM has: made 25 public presentations on elder abuse; 47 home visits; provided support, information and referrals to 425 cases. With the Baby Boom generation currently reaching retirement age, the number of elder abuse cases will continue to grow and Elder Victim Ministry will be there to serve victims.
- Elysia Bush
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