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Cracking Down on Senior Abuse

In 2008, your PLP government passed the Senior Abuse Register Act, and, it's already being used to protect Bermuda's seniors from abuse. The Royal Gazette reports on Minister Dale Butler's efforts to protect a Bermudian senior from abuse:

A 75-year-old woman has been placed under a protection order due to allegations that two younger men moved into her home and abused her.

A judge issued the order this week — the first of its kind under the new Senior Abuse Register Act 2008 — after Cabinet Minister Dale Butler ordered the National Office for Seniors and the Physically Challenged (NOSPC) to explore every legal avenue to protect the vulnerable senior...

Mr. Butler told The Royal Gazette he was forced to call an emergency meeting on Monday after shocking new evidence about the case was presented to him.

He revealed that there were claims of financial mismanagement, physical abuse and "even other questions with regard to sexual abuse".

Mr. Butler, whose ministerial responsibilities include seniors, said he was so "incensed" by the information he wished he could have stepped in personally to save the woman, whom this newspaper is not identifying, but realised Government had to follow a legal route.

"Legally, we can't go in and take a person out," he said on Monday. "It's a difficult case. I'd like to step in but I have to step in in a legal way. I personally feel it's an emergency situation.

"I don't think we have done enough. While we have been told by a Police officer who consulted with his superior that there is nothing we can do, I haven't accepted that."

He updated this newspaper on Tuesday, telling us that the NOSPC had obtained a protection order from a judge after the case was referred to the Attorney General's Chambers at his insistence.

"We have received a court order which has taken certain action to protect the individual concerned and bans the two individuals from going to her home," he said.

Mr. Butler added that a social worker had visited the woman to determine what further help was needed. "We are doing our job with regard to due diligence to ensure that her safety and needs are being met."

This new legislation was passed to protect Bermuda's seniors and Minister Butler and the rest of the PLP government are committed to doing what it takes to make sure our seniors are protected from abuse.

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