Washington: Elder Justice Now, a national video advocacy campaign to help enact the Elder Justice Act and create greater awareness around elder abuse, received a Gold Marketing Communications Award for a Consumer Public Relations Campaign from the 19th annual National Mature Media Awards. The largest awards program of its kind, the National Mature Media Awards recognizes the best advertising, marketing, and educational materials produced for older adults. The Elder Justice Now campaign was produced jointly by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and WITNESS, with the support of the Elder Justice Coalition.
“We are proud of the recognition this campaign has received from the National Mature Media Awards,” said Jim Firman, president and CEO of NCOA. “Elder Justice Now has been a tremendously collaborative campaign involving the contributions of dozens of partnering organizations, with whom we have been honored to work alongside in this national effort.”
The Elder Justice Now campaign, which significantly contributed to the successful passage of the Elder Justice Act earlier this year, was initiated in 2009. Through the use of video and the Internet, the campaign showcased the faces of hundreds of individuals who have been touched by this growing problem in an effort to heighten the visibility of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and to give elders and advocates a voice in affecting policy change.
“Putting a human face to elder abuse was extremely important to the successful implementation of achieving greater advocacy around this issue,” said Kelly Matheson, program manager for the Americas, WITNESS. “This campaign was a prime example of how video advocacy can affect change.”
NCOA partnered with WITNESS, an international human rights organization specializing in video advocacy, to produce “An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America,” a documentary featuring stories of four elder abuse survivors and their families.
The documentary was combined with more than 100 additional stories told by advocates, caregivers, law enforcement officials and other survivors to create a compelling collage of testimonials, which were shared with Congress through the use of online, social and traditional media, grassroots efforts, and direct advocacy, including a briefing on Capitol Hill.
The passage of the Elder Justice Act authorizes first-time dedicated federal funding for Adult Protective Services over the next four years and increased funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Additionally, the act establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council to make recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the coordination of activities of federal, state, local and private agencies and entities relating to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The Elder Justice Now campaign has been an integral part of the work of the Elder Justice Coalition, a group of 640 partnering organizations throughout the country who advocate on behalf of the millions of victims of elder abuse to pass the Elder Justice Act. Elder abuse is a silent issue that robs the nation’s elders of their dignity, their security and, in some cases, costs them their lives.