Facing pressure from her family, the bruised, elderly woman changed her story: Her grandson didn’t beat her over a television remote dispute; a cereal box fell on her.
But the size of the bruises led Det. Cherie Hill to conclude the 74-year-old woman’s original story was the truth.
New research helped prove it.
“We handle elder abuse cases completely different than we had ever handled them in the past,” she said, referring to studies that distinguish between accidents and abuse.
A member of University of California Irvine’s Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect’s Forensic Team, Hill is the Anaheim Police Department’s expert on elder abuse. The newfound expertise and relationships have led to more “criminal filings and getting (dangerous) people off the streets,” she says.
In June, Hill discussed the recent “Geriatric Bruising Study” study at the National Institute of Justice 2009 conference in Arlington, Va.
Among the findings:
- Bruises in half of victims were at least two inches in diameter.
- Accidental bruises rarely occur on the neck or head.
- Seniors who are abused can tell you how they got the bruises; Only a quarter who got them accidentally can recall the cause.
To read the study, click here.
To view the conversation, click on the image below.