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NYC Office of Actuary NYC Department for the Aging
Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center

As the elderly population increases, elder abuse and other crimes against older persons are also on the increase. It’s important that you know how to recognize elder abuse and how to get help if you’re being abused or you suspect someone you know is being abused. It’s also important to not be a “silent” victim if you’re ever robbed, mugged or taken advantage of through a scam or other type of fraud. You should report these crimes so law enforcement can track down the perpetrators. And you should seek support services to help you cope with their psychological impact as well as your safety and financial concerns.

Forms of Elder Abuse

A recent Study of Elder Abuse Prevalence in New York State (in PDF) found that 76 out of every 1,000 older New Yorkers were victims of elder abuse in a one year period. The Study also found a dramatic gap between the rate of elder abuse events reported by older New Yorkers and the number of cases referred to and served in the formal elder abuse service system. The reported incidence rate is nearly 24 times greater than the number of referred cases.  This suggests that many elders are not seeking - or getting - the assistance they need.

Here are some serious ways older persons can be abused:

Emotional Abuse: causing mental anguish and despair by name calling, or by insulting, ignoring, threatening, isolating, demeaning, and controlling behavior.

Financial Abuse: illegally or unethically exploiting an older person through use of his/her cash, credit cards, funds or other assets without permission or through coerced permission.

Physical Abuse: slapping, bruising, coercing (including sexual coercion), cutting, burning, or forcibly restraining an older person.

Neglect: refusing or failing to carry out caretaking responsibilities (e.g., withholding food, medicine, glasses or dentures); also, abandoning a dependent older person.

Getting Help to Stop Elder Abuse

If a senior is in immediate physical danger, call 911. Otherwise, call 311 and ask to report elder abuse. You will be linked to the appropriate agency. You can also get help directly from local community organizations that offer elder abuse services.

Locate a community organization that provides elder abuse services (in PDF)

Getting Help if You're a Crime Victim

Call 311and ask to report that you have been the victim of a crime. Identify yourself as being 60 years of age or older. 311 will link you to help with the following:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Safety planning
  • Support services
  • Linkages to police services, district attorney offices and legal service providers
  • Application for compensation to the New York State Office of Victim Services (NYSOVS)

The New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) manages compensation and other services for innocent victims of crime.

Visit the NY State Office of Victim Services (OVS)

NYSOVS Claim Application & Instructions (English and Spanish) is a comprehensive claim form that victims can use to apply for all OVS compensation benefits for which they may be eligible, including essential personal property, personal injury, and/or death benefits.

A Guide to Crime Victim Compensation in NYS provides information on OVS compensation and answers to frequently asked questions.

A Guide to Restitution in NYS (English and Spanish versions) helps victims understand the process of restitution and answers frequently asked questions.

The Rights of Crime Victims in NYS Pamphlet provides information on victims' rights relating to judicial proceedings, victim impact statements, restitution and much more.

The United State Department of Justice Elder Justice

The United States Department of Justice Elder Justice provides resources for victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation and their families; practitioners who serve them; law enforcement agencies and prosecutors; and researchers seeking to understand and address this silent epidemic plaguing our nation's elders.