Volume 3, Issue 1

Molly Dickinson VelickĀ 

The United States is only beginning to recognize that elder abuse is a growing problem within our society. Mandatory reporting statutes have become an important mechanism for fighting elder abuse. In this note, Ms. Velick discusses and dismisses the most common arguments against mandatory elder-abuse reporting statutes. She then examines proposals to increase compliance with mandatory reporting laws in view of budgetary restrictions. Ms. Velick then suggests three low-cost methods to boost compliance, including increasing public awareness, interagency cooperation, and amending state statutes to protect reporters. She concludes that is time for critics to stop complaining about the lack of adequate funding and take meaningful action now to combat the growing societal problem of elder abuse.