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Iowa Law and Services Together (ILAST)

The U.S. Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women awarded the Iowa Attorney General's Office a three-year grant for training and services to end abuse in later life. The grant provides funding to train law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, and other professionals and providers regarding the investigation and prosecution of abuse cases and to provide services to older victims.  

ILAST is a collaborative effort amongst the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Office, the Polk County Attorney’s Office, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Dallas County Attorney’s Office, and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

A crucial piece of this grant is training of the county attorneys across the state. This training will teach our prosecutors to identify elder abuse and to effectively bring criminal charges against abusers.  90 percent of elder abuse is committed by family members (2/3 of those by spouse or children) and most of the cases are never reported and, therefore, never prosecuted. Our state has yet to pass a criminal elder abuse law so we must educate prosecutors on how to use our existing criminal laws to protect victims.  This is the only training focused on elder abuse that is offered to our prosecutors.  We'll also be training law enforcement and providers so very important that the prosecutors are ready for the influx of cases and prepared to pursue the cases.

An even more important part of the grant is victim services.  Our goal is to bring community resources together so we can maximize the grant dollars we can provide to victims to get them the help they need to escape their abusers and live their lives in safety and with dignity.

Who is the target audience for this training?

Adult protective services (APS) and/or elder abuse workers. Those who respond to suspected elder abuse situations, conduct investigations, and offer various interventions and services to consenting adults.

Community-based domestic violence advocates. Those who work in local nonprofit, nongovernmental domestic violence programs assisting victims of domestic violence and their children.

Community-based sexual assault advocates. Those who work in local nonprofit, nongovernmental sexual assault programs assisting victims of sexual assault.

System-based advocates. Those who are typically employed by criminal justice agencies such as sheriff’s departments, prosecutor’s offices, and probation departments.

Aging network professionals. Those who work in state units on aging , area agencies on aging, tribal and native service organizations, adult care centers, and other organizations focused on the needs of older adults.

Other advocate or professionals who work with elder abuse victims. Those who may not fit in the other categories but work with elder abuse victims such as: attorneys, health care providers, faith leaders, and people who work with culturally-specific and marginalized populations.

Training Goals:

  • Describe the dynamics of abuse in later life;
  • Identify and utilize resources in the community; and 
  • Promote collaboration and communication among victim service providers

Training Methods:

  • Lecture;
  • Small group exercise;
  • Large group discussions; and 
  • Interactive exercises

ILAST has compiled an Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Legal Resources & Remedies Booklet for your reference. This booklet contains  the following resources:

  • Community Resources and Referrals for Law Enforcement;
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation criminal statutes;
  • Criminal No-Contact Orders and Civil Protective Orders; and
  • Acronyms used in the field of aging in Iowa

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-EW-AX-K003 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

FYI - When Ageism Meets the Other Isms: Recognizing and Respecting the Diversity of Older PeopleA five-part webinar series brought to you by ILAST—Iowa’s Abuse in Later Life - Coordinated Community Response Team is being presented Fall of 2020 via Zoom.  Topics to be presented include  the experiences of older adults in the LGBTQLatino, African American, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, Deaf, Blind, and Disability communities.
Contact Mary Peterson for more information and registration.





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