Marie- Therese Connolly

Daily Point of Light # 4625 Oct 28, 2011

Marie-Therese Connolly is a full-time volunteer dedicated to elevating the issue of elder abuse to the forefront of the national consciousness, building an effective network to prevent and redress these horrible wrongs.
Marie is the volunteer director of Life Long Justice, an initiative of Appleseed, which is a nonprofit network of 16 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico. She is also a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she is writing a book about elder justice and the lack of legal protection for elders.
As part of her work in the elder justice field, Marie was a witness before the Senate Special Committee on Aging at the “Justice for All” hearing regarding elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. She spoke at the Elder Abuse Forum hosted by the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus. With Appleseed, Marie is leveraging pro bono talents of lawyers, researchers and economists to gather data, clarify messages, and make systematic positive change for our nation’s seniors.
Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial or sexual in nature. Abandonment and self-neglect are also forms of elder abuse. Abusers are often family and/or caregivers, which further complicates the issue. Elder abuse is the only form of family violence for which the federal government provides virtually no resources. In addition to the lack of governmental resources, there is a growing shortage of geriatricians and caregivers for seniors. Serious research gaps in the field of elder abuse make it extremely difficult to assess or comprehend the breadth of the needs.
Marie advocates for seniors who are being abused, neglected and/or exploited. She recognizes the deficiency of adequate protection for vulnerable elders and actively works to further the cause of elder justice. This is why Marie is a Daily Point of Light.