Older adults who experience victimization often have a hard time navigating the criminal justice system and getting the help and services they need. Older individuals may be particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect; domestic or intimate partner violence; property crimes; and financial crimes. Elder abuse, also known as elder mistreatment, generally refers to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act that causes harm or creates a serious risk of harm to an older person by a family member, caregiver, or other person in a trust relationship. Elder abuse may include abuse that is physical, emotional/psychological (including threats), or sexual; neglect (including abandonment); and financial exploitation. This is a general definition; state definitions of elder abuse vary. Some definitions may also include fraud, scams, or financial crimes targeted at older people.
The effects of victimization can be devastating for older victims of crime. The following resources are provided to help bring greater awareness to crimes against elderly individuals.