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Shelby County leaders cracking down on elder abuse

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:38 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County leaders are cracking down on elder abuse and officially launched a justice alliance in response.

DHR says upwards of 1,300 reports of elder abuse come in each year from across the state. Unfortunately, many of those reports are from Shelby County.

“Shelby County alone had nearly 300 reports in just one year,” said Star Pope, Adult Protective Service Supervisor for Shelby County DHR. “Of those, over 150 were found to be indicated, which for DHR means guilty or true.”

Elder abuse reports that came across Star Pope’s desk as the Adult Protective Service Supervisor for DHR in Shelby County. She’s concerned that number may have just scratched the surface.

“One out of every 24 cases is reported, so what that means is every time one report comes in, 23 have gone unreported,” said Pope.

DHR partnered with the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging to raise awareness and work together to prevent abuse. The agencies officially launched the Elder Justice Alliance Wednesday during a work session along with 30 county entities including first responders, law enforcement, local minority advocacy groups, and county government officials.

“We will provide a lot of direct services to victims and those who are at greatest risk victimization and will provide professional and community training for education.” said Robyn James, Director of Marketing and Innovation Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging

The justice alliance is working to also purchase a facility in Shelby County so all the resources are in one place.

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