The numbers are grim: There are more than 5 million elderly victims of abuse in the United States. This is more than the sum total of child abuse and domestic violence victims.
The state of Tennessee is raising awareness of the growing problem of elder abuse by cracking down on the perpetrators of these crimes. From January 1, 2019, those convicted of aggravated misdemeanor face severe punishment.
Elderly and Vulnerable Adults Protection Act 2019 Changed the classification of the most extreme forms of abuse. Those convicted of more serious crimes have harsher fines and jail time.
Hazel knew a man whom Adult Protective Services says abused her. She was disabled from a series of strokes entering rehab, but her relatives did not pay the rent on her apartment as they had promised and lost the place. At that time, the family members took her to a shed at their place.
“It didn’t have electricity, it didn’t have water, it didn’t have bathrooms,” Hazel said. “I would have died, they would never have come and checked on me.”
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