As someone who had utilized ElderServe’s programs in the past, Martha was a familiar face among the agency staff. She lived alone, which made her more vulnerable to issues like social isolation and crime victimization. Occasionally, her adult grandson would live with her for extended periods of time.
However, he started to take advantage of this arrangement by using and selling narcotics out of the house which, naturally made Martha uncomfortable. This casued tension in their relatioship and he began making threatrs to harm her, so she eventually called the police.
Soon thereafter, Linette Hatfield, A Crime Victim Advocate at ElderServe, reached out to Martha to offer safety planning options like changing her locks, and setting up a plan of action in case of an emergency. Subsequently, Martha decided to get an Emergency Protective Order, to prohibit her grandson from making contact with her before there was a formal hearing. Since Martha is homebound, ElderServe was able to set up a telephonic court hearing that allowed her to testify over the phone from her home. She was granted a “no contact” order to prevent her grandson from making any contact with her for two years. Unfortunately, he quickly violated the “no contact” order, and he was arrested. Today, he is still in jail while our crime victim advocates regularly contact Martha to ensure she is prepared for her court dates.
On a daily basis, older adults in Louisville who are being taken advantage of are empowered by ElderServe’s Crime Victim Advocates. Linette said, “It is so rewarding to assist clients by empowering them to take charge of their circumstances. My hope is that they will find a sense of security in the face of violence.”
As one of four nationwide programs, the purpose of ElderServe’s Crime Victim Services is to support older adults recovering from victimization, to increase access to the criminal justice system, and to spread awareness of elder abuse as a crime. If you know someone who could benefit from this program, pleas call ElderServe at 502.736.3829.