Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2008
Sen. Ron Justice
Bill Strengthening Penalties Against Elder
Abuse Advances to House
A measure to better protect elderly and incapacitated Oklahomans
passed the Senate this week. Senate Bill 1600, by Sen. Ron
Justice, strengthens the Elderly and Incapacitated Persons Act
by making abuse against these individuals a felony.
"I realize that most people are very cautious about the care
of their elderly family members, but unfortunately some are not
and that makes those senior citizens more susceptible to abuse because
there is no one looking out for their well-being," said Justice,
R-Chickasha. "This bill will help strengthen our current law
to protect these individuals from any possible type of abuse."
The measure, which was requested by the Silver Haired Legislature,
covers the crimes of assault and battery, aggravated assault and
battery, assault with a weapon and caretaker abuse including verbal,
physical and sexual abuse as well as exploitation. Under current
law, most of these of crimes are misdemeanors.
"I'm honored to be carrying this bill because I do have concerns
about the elderly in our state. A dear family member of mine was
the victim of abuse so I know all too well how devastating and humiliating
an experience like this can be for an elderly person," said
Justice. "These are the people who worked hard making our state
what it is today and we owe it to them to ensure that now when they
have to be dependent on others they'll be protected and be able
to live their lives in peace."
The bill now goes to the House for further consideration.
For more information contact:
Senator Justice's Office: (405) 521-5537