Safe and Sound: Elder abuse victims’ rights

The Victim Assistance Crisis Line is (229) 432-8181

Safe and Sound: Elder abuse victims’ rights

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - This year alone, more than 300 people in Dougherty County have become a victim of some sort of crime.

If you ever fall victim to a crime first you should call 911. Second, the district attorney’s office in Dougherty County wants you to know you don’t have to go it alone. They’re here for you and there are plenty of resources available.

Greg Edwards (Source: WALB)
Greg Edwards (Source: WALB)

“I think that we need to be on our highest vigilance to protect our senior citizens, to protect our disabled, to protect our children and anything that we can do to make sure that’s done we’re going to be doing," Greg Edwards, Dougherty County district attorney, said.

This week as a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week they held a very special event just for seniors.

“Many times seniors are reluctant to leave their homes to do anything because there are so many evil people out there, we’re living in some troubled times now," Christine Wilson, a retired teacher, said.

Cynthia Wilson (Source: WALB)
Cynthia Wilson (Source: WALB)

“Elder abuse is essentially harming elderly people in some way. It’s taking advantage of them financially, physically, mentally. psychologically," Jeremy Hager, assistant district attorney, said.

This includes hitting or threatening that person, being controlling, neglecting or abandoning them, forging checks or taking their social security benefits, phone scams and sexual abuse.

Jeremy Hager (Source: WALB)
Jeremy Hager (Source: WALB)

The event was all about planting the seeds of justice.

“Even though we know as senior citizens that we are targeted, we know that there are people out there that are ready to take advantage of us at every turn," Wilson said. “It’s a good thing for someone to come in and let us know that we have advocates out there."

Just know that you do have a voice and you don’t have to stand for any type of abuse but you have to report it, officials said.

“We don’t want our elderly people to be swept under the rug, we want to protect them as well,” Hager said. "In the past this was always handled as a family issue and we don’t want that to happen anymore, we need to get the police involved.”

The Victim Assistance Crisis Line is (229) 432-8181.

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