Chirkun Bill Would Better Protect Vulnerable Adults from Abuse

Bill would give more options to charge abusers
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

LANSING – State Representative John Chirkun (D-Roseville) introduced legislation today to make it easier to charge people who have committed vulnerable adult abuse. Chirkun’s bill, House Bill 5422, is a reintroduction of HB 4550, which was introduced by former state Representative Derek Miller.

“Elder abuse can take many forms, including the failure of a caregiver to provide basic needs or to protect an elder from harm,” said Chirkun. “While bruises from physical abuse may be easy to spot, the signs of other forms of abuse that are just as devastating to vulnerable adults can be harder to determine. By expanding the definition of vulnerable adult abuse, we can better protect these people from many more types of abuse.”

Currently, the law requires that physical harm occur during vulnerable adult abuse. Chirkun’s bill would change this so that it will allow a person who abuses a vulnerable adult to be charged if that person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that poses an unreasonable risk, harm or injury to a vulnerable adult, regardless of whether physical harm results.

“My former legislative colleague, Derek Miller, started this effort to better protect our seniors and other vulnerable adults,” said Chirkun. “Now that he has left the Legislature to take another position, I am driven to continue trying to pass this law and protect these citizens from those who would do them harm.”