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Westerly, Rhode Island Event Raises Awareness of Elder Abuse

This past Saturday, June 15, was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This observation was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization in order to provide communities around the globe with an opportunity to raise awareness about the abuse and neglect of seniors.

On Friday, June 14 in Westerly, Rhode Island, a number of advocates and organizations came together to make their voices heard.

“Sadly, millions of seniors have fallen victim to some sort of elder abuse, neglect or financial exploitation,” said Attorney RJ Connelly III, Certified Elder Law Attorney. “These crimes and activities target some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society, yet they are woefully under-reported.”

Elder abuse is defined as "a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect."