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DFPS Press Release

“It’s Everyone’s Business”

Adult Abuse Prevention campaign urges all Texans to get involved

Darrell Azar
(512) 512-438-3294-Office

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May is Elder Abuse Prevention month and Adult Protective Services (APS) is reminding Texans that stopping elder abuse is truly everyone’s responsibility.  This marks the second year of APS’ It’s Everyone’s Business campaign. It’s a statewide effort to educate Texans about the pervasive problem of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and adults with disabilities, and to encourage citizens to get involved in making a positive difference.

“There is an old Spanish proverb that I think illustrates why everyone has a stake in stopping elder abuse,” said Debra Wanser, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Assistant Commissioner for Adult Protective Services. “As you see yourself, I once saw myself. As you see me now, you will be seen.”

It’s Everyone’s Businessfeatures four themes at different times of the year:

  • Adult Abuse Prevention in May;
  • Surviving Summer Heat in June;
  • Home Safety in October; and
  • Financial Exploitation in January.

An Adult Abuse Prevention Kit, containing 31-pages of resources in English and Spanish, 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

DFPS is distributing English and Spanish public service announcements to more than 100 television stations across Texas. See them online at: The message is simple but important. If you believe an elderly person is being abused, neglected or exploited, report it by calling 1-800-252-5400.

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

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 2006, APS investigations confirmed 51,200 cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation involving adults living at home. Nearly 53,000 APS clients received services.
  • 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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