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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 3:45 am | Fair 54º


Grant to Help Reduce Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley has announced the District Attorney’s Office has received a grant from the governor’s Office of Emergency Services to fund the Elder and Dependent Adult Outreach Program.

This program will provide vital services to seniors, dependent adults, and people with disabilities who are crime victims.

Crimes against elders and dependent adults are prevalent in the community, although often undetected or unreported. These crimes include physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse and neglect. They are characterized by any kind of treatment resulting in physical harm, pain, exploitation or mental suffering to the victim.

“I have long felt that crimes committed against vulnerable victims are amongst the worst crimes imaginable and those with disabilities or seniors who become victims of crime often suffer traumatic and long lasting consequences," said Dudley. 

Sadly, crimes against elders and dependent adults are dramatically on the rise. According to statistics obtained from the Santa Barbara County Adult Protective Services, there were 1,596 reports of elder abuse during 2014 and 2015, and 990 reports of dependent adult abuse.

It is the goal of this grant to attack this fast-growing injustice.

Funding from the grant will be used to educate the community in identifying crimes against elders and dependent adults, to make victims aware of the services provided by the District Attorney’s victim witness program, and to provide a point of contact for concerned citizens and family members who are unsure of where to turn for help.

Grant staff will conduct in-service training for law enforcement and service providers on how to better serve this vulnerable population.

For information regarding this program, or to schedule a presentation on Crimes Targeting Seniors and Dependent Adults, contact the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Hotline at 568-2442. Staff can provide training in recognizing signs of abuse, protecting financial assets from scammers, and how to report suspected abuse.

— Debbie Fox for Santa Barbara County.


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