Governor Ivey signs Shirley’s Law, nation’s first elder abuse registry

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Governor Kay Ivey (Governor Ivey / Flickr)

Governor Ivey signed a new state database named “Shirley’s Law” after a woman who survived elder abuse that will include the names of people convicted of mistreating elderly citizens.

What is Shirley’s Law?

The law was created for Shirley Holcombe, who passed away in 2018. Holcombe was a victim of forgery by a caretaker. Her daughter, Jo Holcombe, campaigned to have the law created.

According to the state, elder abuse is on the rise. There were 11,122 reports of abuse last year including physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Jo Holcombe fought for the creation of this database so that what happened to her mother doesn’t happen to the loved ones of others out there.

The law means a lot for anyone who knows or loves an elderly person. It means that when considering someone for a job caring for older adults, family members can see if the person has any history of elder abuse. The law will make finding this information much easier, since it will all be in one place.

In the database, there will also be information on anyone under protection orders for elder abuse. The law should allow family members of elderly people to feel much safer when choosing how to care for their loved ones.

Shirley’s Law will help prevent abusers from having the chance to hurt any more victims.

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Callie Puryear
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