WHEREAS, more than 1.9 million Virginians are currently over the age of 60, and this population is expected to increase to more than 2.3 million by 2030; and
WHEREAS, during fiscal year 2017, Virginia Adult Protective Services received more than 27,000 reports of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation, a 15 percent increase from the previous year; and
WHEREAS, older Virginians and Virginians with disabilities may be targets for abuse, which can occur in families and communities of all social, economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, in order to reduce the incidence of adult abuse in Virginia, there are a number of adult abuse prevention programs that provide vital services to older and disabled Virginians, including a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, home-based and community services, public education, and legal advocacy; and
WHEREAS, Adult Abuse Prevention Month offers all Virginians the opportunity to participate in community efforts to improve the safety and well-being of people throughout the Commonwealth, to recognize the organizations and individuals who serve them, and to remember victims of adult abuse and their families; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, home to the State Adult Protective Services Division, promotes an integrated vision and streamlined services to help older and disabled Virginians live free of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as ADULT ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.