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Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors


By NCALL Team

This year, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. For the past 20 years, our staff have learned from the stories and lived experiences of older survivors and used that knowledge to inform the project’s national leadership in ending abuse in later life.

For two decades, NCALL staff have authored articles, curricula, and resources for various audiences related to abuse in later life and the unique issues facing older adults and survivors of abuse. In our role as the Training and Technical Assistance Provider for the OVW Abuse in Later Life Grant Program, we have supported grantee communities as they work to increase their capacity to better serve older survivors. Our staff have also trained and successfully engaged professionals from various fields of work and communities throughout the country to elevate the issues that affect older survivors and generate critical collaboration across disciplines to create lasting social change.

Through policy development, including recent work on the reauthorization of VAWA, NCALL has worked to center the lived experiences of older survivors in the national dialogue on enhancing responses to domestic violence and sexual assault. NCALL currently serves as liaison to the National Task Force to End Domestic and Sexual and Domestic Violence and has advocated for the development and enhancement of language and public policy that enhances breadth of services and support for older survivors.

As allied partners in the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (NRC), NCALL is expanding its capacity to include an inclusive framework aimed at meeting the needs of every survivor, especially those most marginalized. Through work with the NRC, NCALL provides leadership in supporting victim service providers, culturally specific organizations, criminal justice professionals, and policymakers in enhancing their ability to provide healing services for older victims of crime and avenues for justice to communities that do not have equitable access.

This year, NCALL is thrilled to be working alongside the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2019. Together we’re guided by this year’s theme, Lifting Up Voices, an idea that is foundational to our collective work in the elder abuse field.

For NCEA, Lifting up Voices supports the message of its existing WEAAD theme, Building Strong Supports for Elders, which calls upon communities to work to create a social structure that allows individuals to thrive as they age. In turn, by engaging and empowering older adults, they are supported so that they may be an advocate for themselves and their communities.

The concept of Lifting Up Voices, for NCALL, is rooted in our survivor-centered work and draws upon NCALL’s newest draft video project, Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors, co-created with Terra Nova Films and  funded by the Office for Victims of Crime. This collection of video clips shares the lived experiences and resiliency of a number of older survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and financial exploitation. In addition to revealing the heart and incredible strength of these older survivors, the videos also cast a light on the work that is carried out by advocates and the justice system, throughout the country, to lift up the voices of older survivors and to hold their offenders accountable for their crimes.

We are excited to announce that the Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors videos are now available for viewing and we invite you to watch then share your feedback by answering a few short questions at each video’s conclusion.

Viewers’ impressions of these materials will be compiled by a research team at Virginia Tech and will help us learn more about the impact of these videos on raising awareness of abuse in later life and educating professionals and community members.

To get started, head over to www.liftingupvoices.net. You will be directed to a short demographic survey to let us know a bit about who is watching the video clip, then will be directed to the video clips. Upon viewing a video, you will be prompted to complete another short survey letting us know what moved you and what you learned from viewing the video clip. Each video clip is accompanied by a discussion guide designed for a multidisciplinary audience. The discussion guide may be used for individual reflection or to discuss the video with a group or training audience.

We look forward to hearing your impressions of the Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors videos!

Please keep in touch with NCALL throughout the year. Visit us online at www.ncall.us and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.