UD airs National Elder Abuse Awareness message in movie theatres

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12:24 p.m., May 28, 2010----For the second straight year, the University of Delaware will run public service announcements on elder abuse in movie theatres throughout the U.S.

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The 15-second video, which features actor William Mapother, best known for his role as Ethan Rom on TV's Lost, will run before movie trailers on more than 220 screens May 28-June 24.

The showings coincide with the fifth World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, to be observed on June 15.

“Raising awareness of elder abuse has proven to be a difficult challenge for decades, said Karen Stein, an associate professor in the University's School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, who oversees the Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly. “We don't like to think about getting older or becoming vulnerable so it is important to see the issue as one of personal relevance, one that we all have a stake in addressing.”

Elder abuse has devastating and even life-threatening consequences. Recent research suggests 11 percent of all seniors may be affected, but only one in six cases is reported.

UD, a grantee of the National Center on Elder Abuse, produced the video. It is the cornerstone of the NCEA's Join Us in the Fight Against Elder Abuse campaign.

The piece was first distributed in theaters across the U.S. last spring. That marked the first time a single, uniform message regarding elder abuse was released nationally. Because of its success, UD and NCEA decided to release the video for a second run this year.

The NCEA is currently co-managed by UD's Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly at the Center for Community Research and Service in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. Through CANE, UD has been at the forefront of national efforts to promote awareness, information, and research relating to elder abuse since 1986.