Mountain View Voice

News - April 8, 2011

Legal help hotline for seniors

California seniors who are victims of domestic abuse can obtain free legal assistance through a new toll-free statewide number, officials said.

Victims over the age of 60 can call the California Senior Legal Hotline, where they will receive confidential advice on legal matters.

This program is designed to address a growing problem of domestic violence toward elderly people who experience stalking, physical or emotional abuse, threats, or neglect by a family member, spouse, partner, caregiver or cohabitant.

Callers can also be connected with local domestic violence programs so they can obtain additional support, officials said.

This hotline is possible because of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the hotline.

The problem of domestic abuse toward seniors was highlighted during a recent hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, where actor Mickey Rooney shared his story of abuse by a family member.

The hotline will be operated under the Sacramento-based nonprofit Legal Services of Northern California.

The toll-free number for seniors in need of legal guidance is (800) 222-1753.

This is not an emergency line, and those who feel immediately threatened should dial 911, according to hotline officials.

—Bay City News Service

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