Wednesday 24 February 2016
Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes new inquiry into elder abuse
Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes this morning’s announcement by Federal Attorney General George Brandis that the Australian Law Reform Commission will conduct an inquiry into laws and frameworks to safeguard older Australians from elder abuse.
The announcement was made at the 4th National Elder Abuse Conference being held in Melbourne from 23-25 February 2016 (elderabuseconference.org.au) and follows yesterday’s commitment by over 25 elder abuse organisations to work together nationally.
“A national and coordinated approach is vital if we are to successfully tackle elder abuse”, says Seniors Rights Victoria’s Manager, Jenny Blakey.
“Our present system is fragmented and too many older people are not getting the help they need”.
“We welcome the fact that the Australian Government has now put elder abuse squarely on the national agenda – the inquiry announced today is a strong start.”, said Ms Blakey.
Seniors Rights Victoria is also calling for;
- A national prevalence study into the incidence of elder abuse
- National systematized data collection
- A national public awareness campaign
- More funding for organisations that respond to elder abuse
- Appropriate training of people who work with older people
- An investigative body that can deal with abuse allegations raised by concerned others.
Elder abuse is vastly under- reported, but the World Health Organisation estimates that up to 10 per cent of older people worldwide are affected. Elder abuse is defined as any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. Like other forms of family violence, elder abuse is about one person having control over another. It reflects the gender inequality and the inequality arising from ageism that is rife in our society today.
Older Victorians experiencing elder abuse can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday. See www.seniorsrights.org.au. Seniors Rights Victoria is a program of COTA Vic and is supported by the Victorian Government.
For more information and to arrange interviews please contact Caitlin Evans on (03) 9655 2119, 0423707549 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.