An online resource offers Wisconsin residents a new option for reporting elder abuse.
The website, www.ReportElderAbuseWI.org, is the next phase in the Wisconsin Department of Justice's campaign to raise awareness about elder abuse and encourage citizens to report abuse against seniors.
"Elder abuse is drastically underreported, and it can be deadly," said Attorney General Brad Schimel. "Studies show that even modest abuse increases the chance of premature death by 300 percent, and because Wisconsin's elderly population will increase 72 percent in the next two decades, we have to raise awareness, increase access to support for victims and strengthen our response to every type of elder abuse."
According to the Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources, the number of reported elder abuse cases has been on the rise, more than doubling over the last 15 years. There were 8,031 reported elder abuse cases in Wisconsin in 2016.
The attorney general also started a new pilot program in Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago counties that allows Wisconsin residents who suspect a caregiver is abusing their loved one to use a covert camera to provide surveillance over someone who may have been harmed by a caregiver in their residence. Currently, the "Safe Seniors Camera Program" is only available in those counties.
Schimel has prioritized elder abuse, launching the Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse in August 2017.
To report suspected financial, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Douglas County, (715) 395-1663, or (800) 488-3780. Anyone who witnesses an act of abuse, neglect or exploitation that requires immediate attention should call 911.