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There Were More Than 6,000 Cases Of Elder Abuse In Wisconsin Last Year

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Last year there were more than 6,200 cases of suspected elder abuse reported in Wisconsin, and with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day coming up on Sunday, officials are trying to get the word out to prevent more cases from occurring.

“Elder abuse” has a specific meaning under Wisconsin law. The term applies to anyone over age 60 and refers to a wide array of offenses: treatment without consent, physical and mental abuse, or financial exploitation.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney spoke at a local senior center to increase awareness about elder abuse.

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“Statistics show that (the) elderly in our community who are abused financially are the most reluctant to come forward, because often times it involves family members,” said Mahoney. “By early intervention we can prevent the most egregious of cases occurring and often times prevent the criminal justice system from being involved.“

Last year there were 487 suspected cases of elder abuse in Dane County. Officials say many cases go unreported.

“It’s an issue that we need to shine a spotlight on so that families can recognize signs of abuse, individuals can recognize those signs, and … know where to go to report elder abuse,” said Sharon Corrigan, a Dane County supervisor.

Wisconsin law requires every county to participate in a statewide system for reporting elder abuse and to provide a helpline telephone number.

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