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DFPS Press Release

“It’s Everyone’s Business”

New Adult Abuse Prevention Campaign urges all Texans to get involved

Patrick Crimmins
(512) 438-3112-Office
(512) 787-5090-Cell

Monday, May 1, 2006

Photo of sad manToday the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) announced a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Texans about the pervasive problem of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and adults with disabilities, and to encourage citizens to make it their business.

Kickoff of the “It’s Everyone’s Business,” campaign logically coincides with Elder Abuse Prevention Month (May). Four mini-campaigns will be conducted throughout the year under the “It’s Everyone’s Business” theme: Adult Abuse Prevention, Surviving Summer Heat, Exploitation, and Mental Illness/Homelessness.

The campaign features the 2006 Adult Abuse Prevention Kit, a 30-page resource in English and Spanish which is being distributed to hospitals, faith-based organizations, libraries, home health agencies, senior centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and other partners. The kit and other resources are available online at

A public service announcement, in English and Spanish, is also being distributed to television stations across Texas, which you can view at:

“It’s Everyone’s Business” is really a grassroots campaign based on working in partnership with dozens of local agencies and service organizations across Texas.

There is an old, Spanish proverb that illustrates why everyone has a stake in stopping elder abuse.

“As you see yourself, I once saw myself, as you see me now you will be seen.” ("Como te ves, me vi y como me ves, te verás.")

“Certainly, protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, fraud, or isolation really is everyone’s business,” said Debra Wanser, DFPS’ Assistant Commissioner for Adult Protective Services (APS). “Not only is it a real indicator of community, but you could even save a life.”

APS Facts and Figures

  • The mission of APS is to protect the elderly and adults with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by investigating, and providing or arranging for services necessary to alleviate or prevent further maltreatment.
  • Texas has more than 2.2 million residents 65 or older. Nearly one out of five people have a disability, and almost half of those older than 65 have a disability.
  • In 2005, APS completed more than 67,000 investigations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation involving adults living at home. Of these, more than 45,000 were confirmed.
  • In the last decade, the number of in-home cases investigated by APS has more than doubled.
  • APS serves those 65 or older, and those 18 to 64 with a disabling condition.
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