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Letter From the Editors: Recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014 Karen Stein & Sharon Merriman-Nai Published online: 29 Apr 2014.

Click for updates To cite this article: Karen Stein & Sharon Merriman-Nai (2014) Letter From the Editors: Recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014, Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 26:3, 205-206, DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2014.898446 To link to this article:

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Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 26:205–206, 2014 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 0894-6566 print/1540-4129 online DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2014.898446

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Letter From the Editors: Recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014

The 9th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) will be observed on June 15, 2014. To commemorate this observance, we are proud to dedicate this special issue of the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect (JEAN ) to the universal recognition that elder mistreatment is not a problem unique to the United States or to Western societies, but is a pernicious threat to older individuals globally. If awareness is the first step toward resolving a problem, the current issue of JEAN bears witness to the increasing worldwide recognition of elder abuse. Dr. Rosalie S. Wolf, the founder of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and the inaugural editor of JEAN , was one of the first—and most tenacious—advocates for elder abuse awareness and prevention. Ever the champion of collaboration, Dr. Wolf envisioned JEAN as a resource for researchers and practitioners alike to support efforts to prevent and address the abuse of older individuals. Since its inception, JEAN has featured international contributions in order to illuminate the universality of the issues. However, these submissions have, by and large, reflected the phenomenon as it impacts predominantly “developed” countries with a history of addressing elder mistreatment. In this special issue, readers will be treated to the perspectives of countries just beginning to grapple with the problem, such as Nepal, Iran, and Russia. It is fitting, therefore, that we also pay tribute to Dr. Wolf by featuring the INPEA International Rosalie Wolf Memorial Award lecture, in keeping with the JEAN tradition to publish the annual awardee’s address. The 2011 recipient, Dr. Jordan Kosberg, has taught throughout the United States, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Israel, and New Zealand. His international perspectives are reflected in his lecture, “Reconsidering Assumptions Regarding Men as Elder Abuse Perpetrators and as Elder Abuse Victims.” World Elder Abuse Awareness Day also provides us with the opportunity to measure our progress in addressing elder mistreatment. If elder abuse is less “invisible” than when it was first introduced as “granny bashing” in the British medical literature, we also must consider the other side of the ledger. For the third consecutive year, Congress has failed to provide funding for the Elder Justice Act. In the United States, we continue to have a decentralized 205

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Letter From the Editors

and under-resourced response system. And, as Dr. Kosberg suggests in his article, our efforts remain not only fragmented in terms of systemic response but also hindered by a lack of consensus regarding who the victims are, who the perpetrators are, and what we define as mistreatment. Perhaps this reflects an inability to frame the issue of elder abuse in a salient and resonant manner that captures the attention of the public at large, or perhaps it is because we rely upon strategies of intervention rather than prevention. Is ageism the invisible elephant in the room that inhibits our progress? Whatever the roadblocks to addressing elder abuse worldwide, they are not caused by a lack of dedication by the legions of advocates who work tirelessly to help empower and protect older and vulnerable adults. But we owe it to Dr. Wolf, who died before the first observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, to ask these questions and challenge ourselves to move forward. Karen Stein, Editor-in-Chief Sharon Merriman-Nai, Associate Editor

Recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014.

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