San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon today launched a citywide campaign to prevent elder abuse.

The campaign will feature ads and posters on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses, bus shelters, and in various locations around the city with the tagline “Our Golden Years Shouldn’t Be Black and Blue,” and feature statistics about elder abuse.

San Francisco’s population of people aged 60 or older is expected to increase up to 100 percent by 2020, according to the district attorney’s office.

Elder abuse often comes at the hands of a family member or caregiver. More than 61 percent of cases involve family members, and about 90 percent of cases involve repeat offenses, prosecutors said.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office handled 81 cases of physical or financial abuse of seniors in 2010. The state attorney general’s office estimates that about 200,000 seniors are abused each year.

The campaign, part of a partnership with the Institute on Aging and the San Francisco Elder Abuse Forensic Center, seeks to publicize step-by-step instructions for reporting elder abuse.

People can call (415) 355-6700 to report elder abuse, and can remain anonymous if necessary.

“Making sure that the public knows how to access support and services for seniors in need, is an important step in the fight against elder abuse,” Gascon said in a statement.

“With San Francisco’s growing population of seniors living on their own, we have to take these important steps to protect them from predators,” he said.

The cost of the two-month campaign is less than $20,000 and is being provided by the Institute on Aging and a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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