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Elder Abuse

Elders and dependent adults in our communities are subjected to physical abuse, mental abuse, neglect, telemarketing scams, investment fraud and other forms of financial abuse that strip them of their assets and financial security.  They can be exploited by family members, caregivers, friends and strangers.  Seniors and dependent adults are often unaware of many of these dangers.

If an elder or dependent adult you know is being victimized, it is important for you to take action to stop it.  Without intervention, abuse almost always escalates.  Because victims are often reluctant to report, an elder or dependent adult's well-being may depend on you to recognize and report suspected abuse.  If you suspect an elder or dependent adult is the victim of abuse, contact the Torrance Police Department at (310) 328-3456 or the Adult Protective Services at (877) 477-3646.  For additional information on adult or dependent abuse, please contact the Torrance Police Department Detective Division, at (310) 618-5570.

ELDER AND DEPENDENT ADULTS   Definition:  An elder is defined as a person over the age of 65.  A dependent adult is defined as a person 18-64 years of age with a significant disability that limits the ability to protect or care for him or herself.

Types of Abuse:

Physical abuse includes assault, battery, assault with a deadly weapon, unreasonable physical constraint, prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water, sexual assault and rape.

Psychological/mental abuse includes fear, agitation, confusion, severe depression and other forms of serious emotional distress that are brought about by threats, harassment and intimidation.  

Financial abuse can result from taking, secreting or appropriating money or property of an elder or dependent adult by a person who has the care or custody of, or who is in a position of trust to, that elder or dependent adult.

Negligence occurs if a caregiver fails to assist the elder or dependent adult in personal hygiene; provide food, clothing or shelter; protect from health and safety hazards; or prevent malnutrition or dehydration.

Other forms of abuse include Abduction, Abandonment, Isolation and Neglect. 

Additional Resources:

Keep-Safe Coalition - - Keep-Safe is a non-profit organization based In the South Bay that was established in 200 with volunteers from social services, law enforcement and financial institutions.  It's mission is to heighten awareness and help community member recognize, prevent and stop elder financial abuse. 

The State of California Attorney General's Crime and Violence Prevention Center - 


Citizen's Guide to Elder Abuse - English Introduction, Physical and Emotional Abuse, Financial Abuse, Abuse in Long Term Care Facilities, Online Resources

Citizen's Guide to Elder Abuse - Spanish Introduccion, Abuso fisico y emocionalAbuso financiero, Abuso en instituciones de cuidados a largo plazoRecursos en el internet.

Elder Abuse - English, Spanish

Crime Prevention for Seniors