June 15 marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), officially recognised by the UN in 2011. Individuals and organisations worldwide will be participating in events and activities that empower, celebrate and inform older people, as a way of preventing mistreatment and harm.
Elder abuse is 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. Elder abuse is under-reported, but the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14% of older people in Australia are affected.
There will be events and activities around Victoria, including information sessions and forums on topics from how to recognise elder abuse, to how to protect your rights and where to find help. You’re encouraged to wear the symbolic purple colour of WEAAD and share information with friends, families and communities. On June 15, Melbourne Town Hall will be dressing for the occasion with WEAAD banners and purple lights.
It’s easy for anyone to get involved in WEAAD. Our toolkit is full of ideas and resources to get you started. If you are active on social media, join Seniors Rights Victoria on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date. We love seeing what activities everyone gets involved in, so make sure you tag or share your photos with us. For information on events happening near you or to register your own, visit our website and events calendar.
If you are an older Victorian experiencing elder abuse or are concerned about an older person, call Seniors Rights Victoria’s confidential helpline on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm