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Elder abuse at record level in 2022, Nampa Family Justice Center says

Jill Norquist has been a survivor for several years now. She is now making sure she shares her story, so other have someone to lean on.

NAMPA, Idaho — Jill Norquist is a survivor of abuse.

"We have been married before. We were married in '91 and divorced in '92. I divorced him because of physical abuse at the time,” Norquist said.

She says these are the thoughts that would go through her mind in those moments. She experienced abuse since the start of her marriage.

"Well I thought things change. I figured he grew out of it or changed himself or got help or whatever he needed to do,” Norquist said.

After a couple years after the divorce, she found herself back in that environment.

"Well, I thought things change. I figured he grew out of it or changed himself or got help or whatever he needed to do,” she said.

Elder abuse comes in many forms like violence, verbal and emotional to name a few. Norquist says many people don’t realize or recognize these as forms of abuse and instead classified them differently.

“Verbal abuse, continuously, but I called it stress. Emotional abuse, I didn't even call it anything. I would be isolated for months without being able to talk to somebody,” Norquist said.

After many years of abuse, Norquist said it was enough. That’s when she reached out to the Family Justice Center in Nampa.

"I came in and did an intake, got me plugged into groups, got me in counseling fast forward I am now a survivor,” she said.

The Family Justice Center helps victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.

The center's assistant project manager, Alyssa Groen, says six months into 2022, the Justice Center has seen a record number of elder abuse cases in Idaho.

"Every month I feel like we are setting a new record of how many victims are coming in. I think especially for our elders, so many have been isolated. So, we are seeing more abuse cases coming through our doors,” Groen said.

To help spread elder abuse awareness this month, the Justice Center is hosting its first Lean on Me Walk in Nampa.

"Statistically 1 out of 10 adults 60 and older are abused. So, we want to make sure that we are lowering that number and I think by providing awareness, really, it's going to be a fun event,” Groen said.

Norquist hopes this walk will help more victims get the help they need.

"You are worth living. You have value. The situation that you're going through, there is hope on the other side,” she said.

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