Benjamin’s project with the Legal Aid Society of Louisville, Kentucky provided direct representation to elderly victims of abuse and/or exploitation and worked to raise awareness of civil remedies for elderly victims of crime.
Elderly victims of crime occupy a unique space in terms of their heightened vulnerability and underreported victimization. This was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which that placed them at even greater risk of isolation. Few resources existed to address crimes against the elderly in the civil context, and the criminal justice system was often unable to make elderly victims of crime whole without civil intervention. This gap in the response to crimes against the elderly required not only civil representation, but a collaborative response between the community, law enforcement, and the Legal Aid Society to provide a holistic approach to obtaining justice for this vulnerable population.
During the two-year Fellowship, Benjamin:
- Fostered a relationship with the Louisville Domestic Violence Intake Center to funnel protective order petitioners over the age of 60 to his program for assistance.
- Represented dozens of elder abuse victims at protective order hearings while maintaining a 100% success rate in contested cases.
- Collaborated on cases, trainings, and outreach with local law enforcement and prosecutors, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the US Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
After his Fellowship, Benjamin will continue his work with the Legal Aid Society. Benjamin will continue to provide civil legal assistance to low-income clients and vulnerable populations in the Louisville area.
Representing Older Survivors of Sexual Assault Through Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Improving the National Response to Elder Abuse and Exploitation