California Senate Approves Senator Chang's Proposal to Protect Seniors from Abuse

Saturday, June 13, 2020

(SACRAMENTO) – Senator Chang announced today her SB 1123 received bipartisan support from the California Senate.  SB 1123 seeks to reform the law so law enforcement agencies will have accurate and clear direction on responding, reporting, and investigating claims of abuse.

Seniors and dependent adults are more vulnerable and more susceptible to physical, emotional, and financial abuse than other populations. According to a study by the National Adult Protective Services Association, one in nine senior or dependent adults have experienced abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

“During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, this issue has become even more acute,” said Senator Chang.  While we ask people to stay in their homes, we need to ensure protections against abuse in that environment are strong.”

Unfortunately, California law lacks clear definitions of what constitutes physical, mental, and emotional abuse. Without this clear direction, the legal protections and response from law enforcement to elderly abuse is inconsistent – leaving some abuse unchecked.

SB 1123 is sponsored by the Coalition for Elder & Disability Rights who write in a letter of support, “In order to properly investigate abuse, it is imperative that law enforcement has easy access to a definition of what abuse is.”

Senate Bill 1123 now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.