The story: On Wednesday, an emotional Mickey Rooney admitted that he's been a victim of elder abuse. The 90-year-old Hollywood legend delivered passionate testimony to the Senate Committee on Aging, detailing the emotional and financial abuse he suffered at the hands of a family member. Though Rooney did not mention him by name, the family member is thought to be Rooney's stepson Chris Aber, against whom Rooney was granted a restraining order last month. The actor ended testimony with a "tearjerker" plea to others in his situation. "You're not alone, and you have nothing to be ashamed of... Please, for yourself, end the cycle of abuse and do not allow yourself to be silenced any longer."
The reaction: Rooney made his appearance to shed some "much-needed light on a genuine problem," says Stephen M. Silverman at People. More than 2 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological or financial abuse. As a nation, we rightly spend plenty of time and attention on preventing child abuse, says Sierra at Babble. Rooney's story proves we need "the same level of vigilance and oversight" for the caregivers and family members of elderly members of society. Watch Rooney's testimony, here: