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Elder Abuse Victims and Their Supporters Fight Cuts at City Hall

By Paul Lomax | June 17, 2012 1:40pm
A protester stands in solidarity against elder abuse on the steps of City Hall on June 15th, 2012.
A protester stands in solidarity against elder abuse on the steps of City Hall on June 15th, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

CITY HALL — Nearly a hundred victims of elderly abuse stood on the steps of City Hall at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Friday morning.  

Local  government officials urged that more effort was needed to tackle the growing problem in New York.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, wearing a purple ribbon as a sign of support, called for more funding and public awareness at the small and somber gathering. He said oftentimes local support groups can do the most to help to stem the rise of neglect and abuse towards the elderly citizens of the city.

"It's very important for all of us to recognize the great work that is being done here, especially by JASA (Jewish Association Serving the Aging) with the help they give to the victims of elder abuse," he said.

"Organizations like this (JASA) are the eyes and ears in the community that help combat this problem and help provide a safety net for the victims of this crime," he added.

Ariella Beer, 28, a social worker with JASA who helps victims of elderly abuse, said the organization's outreach program was at acute risk of being discontinued.

"If we don't get further funding by the end of this month, then this program will be cut, and that means there will be nowhere for these elderly people to go to for support," she said. "There is no other program like this in New York for these people."

According to a study that was released in 2010, thousands of cases of elder abuse and neglect go unreported.

The report also stated that for every case of elder abuse that is reported, twenty four never see the light of day. 

District Attorney Charles Hynes ended his plea by saying, "We need to do everything we can do get this crime from out of the shadows and into the public's eye."