Grant Will Support Organization’s Work to Mobilize Lawyers to Address Elder Abuse and Exploitation in the United States
Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today announced that it has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, to launch its Elder Justice Program, a two-year legal Fellowship program.
Elder abuse has been referred to as a “hidden epidemic” in the United States, with estimates that 1 out of every 10 people age 60 and older are victims of caregiver neglect, financial fraud and exploitation, and/or psychological, physical, and sexual abuse every year.
The Equal Justice Works Elder Justice Program will place 22 lawyers (Fellows) at legal services organizations across the United States to address the gap in civil legal services for victims of elder abuse and exploitation, with a special emphasis in serving rural communities.
“Many older Americans are victims of crime and suffer serious harm. Lawyers can often help restore their dignity, security, and financial safety,” noted David Stern, executive director at Equal Justice Works. “We greatly appreciate the Office of Victims of Crime’s support of this program to provide critical legal services to this vulnerable population.”
Fellows in the Elder Justice Program will work with victims of elder abuse and exploitation to enforce their rights and address issues such as financial exploitation, housing, protection orders, guardianship, and public benefits, and make referrals to other supportive services.
Equal Justice Works will begin the selection process for legal services organizations to host these Fellows in January 2020, and Fellows are expected to begin work in June 2020.
For more information about the Elder Justice Program, please contact [email protected].