ATLANTA, GA - Attorney General Chris Carr today announced his participation in an effort led by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) which will focus on strengthening nationwide actions to combat elder abuse. NAAG President and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will lead the bipartisan working group.

“The abuse, neglect, and exploitation of at-risk and older citizens is a tragic and evolving issue that is plaguing, not only Georgia, but our entire country,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “When I learned of NAAG President and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s intentions for the working group, I was eager to get our office involved. This type of collaborative effort is exactly what we need to create real results, and we look forward to working with our national partners to crack down on this malicious behavior in all its forms.”

Between 1900 and 2010, the number of Americans age 65 and older grew from fewer than 5 million to more than 40 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the same time, the portion of the population in that age bracket rose from about three percent to more than 12 percent. By one estimate, only one in every 24 cases of elder abuse is detected or reported. Despite that underreporting, statistically one in every 10 Americans age 65 or older who live at home will become a victim of abuse.

“Elder abuse has been called the silent epidemic of our time,” said Attorney General Derek Schmidt. “It is a crime that too often operates in the shadows. But the numbers are staggering, and as the population age 65 and older continues to grow, it is clear that we all need to do more to combat this serious problem.”

The working group will be titled “Protecting America's Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse.” It will culminate in a NAAG Presidential Initiative Summit that Attorney General Schmidt will host in Manhattan, Kan., on April 17-18, 2018.

Three other state attorneys general will also serve on the working group: Mark Brnovich (R-Ariz.), Peter Kilmartin (D-R.I.) and Ellen Rosenblum (D-Ore.). Each has led innovative efforts to combat elder abuse in his or her respective state.

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territories.