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Elder Abuse Awareness Observances

Communities across the country have generated interest in elder abuse by observing awareness days/weeks/months. Official observances typically require a proclamation by a mayor or governor or approval by city councils or state legislatures.

Some events are scheduled to correspond to national awareness events. For example, some communities observe elder abuse awareness week during May, which is Older American’s Month, while others have observances during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Getting a Proclamation
  • First you need to find out what the official process is for getting a proclamation for State/City elder Abuse Awareness Day/Week/Month. Citywide observances may be initiated by mayors’ proclamations or adopted as resolutions by city councils. Statewide observances may be proclaimed by governors or state legislatures. More than one option may be available. Persons to contact for information may include clerks or secretaries of city councils, mayors’ or governors’ chiefs of staff, legislative aides, press secretaries, etc.
  • Once you have identified the appropriate contacts, arrange a meeting to discuss the proclamation and rationale. You will also need to discuss your plans for promoting the observance and how to coordinate with officials’ press secretaries and other staff. Come prepared with a plan, but recognize that staffers have their own media contacts and preferred methods.
  • Prepare a draft resolution, using language you would like to have included. Proclamations typically include general information about the problem as well as statistics specific to your community or state. You can also include information about services that are needed to prevent abuse and what your organization is doing to address the problem.

Navigating the Bureaucracy
  • Generating proclamations usually requires several months lead time.
  • Check with members of your organization’s board of directors to see if they have relationships with elected officials.
  • Try to find an official who has a strong interest in the issue and is willing to adopt it as a "pet project."

Last Updated: September 28, 2006  Top


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