Campaign urges Queenslanders to unite against elder abuse

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

Queenslanders are being urged to stand and act together to address elder abuse as part of a new statewide campaign launched ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day tomorrow.

Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the campaign theme ‘Together we can stop elder abuse’ highlighted that everyone has a role to play in the prevention of elder abuse.

“The people affected by elder abuse are our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, neighbours and friends, so it is important that we are able to recognise when abuse might be happening and know where to get help,” Mr Crawford said.

“The campaign focuses on building awareness and understanding of elder abuse, including the forms it may take — emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse and neglect — and its impacts on older people’s wellbeing.

“Campaign messaging encourages family members, friends, neighbours and carers to call the Palaszczuk Government-funded Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192 or to visit the campaign website to find out how to connect people experiencing abuse to the services and support they need.”

Mr Crawford said the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit received $800,000 in funding from the Palaszczuk Government as part of a $5 million investment in 2020-21 to respond to and prevent elder abuse.

“Also as part of that $5 million commitment we have invested $3.7 million towards the seniors legal and support services at 11 locations across the state. These services provide free, individualised legal advice and social support to older people who are experiencing or at risk of abuse, and specialist financial protection services for seniors,” he said.

“We also provided $400,000 for a specialist financial information and advice service, as well as $100,000 in funding to the Seniors Enquiry Line to provide information and advice on scams, fraud and consumer protection issues. This information service assists in further protecting older people from financial abuse.”

Mr Crawford said that sadly, helpline data showed elder abuse was occurring in many Queensland communities, with abuse notifications totalling 1,534 in 2019–20.

“As many cases of elder abuse go unreported, the number of older people experiencing abuse is likely to be higher than call numbers indicate,” he said.

“Older people have the right to be safe and free from abuse, and to live with respect and dignity without fear of abuse, especially from family members or any trusted people in their lives.

“It’s up to all of us to act together to show that elder abuse has no place in Queensland communities.”

The Palaszczuk Government is pleased to sponsor an event for seniors in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, hosted by Caxton Legal Centre, Council on the Ageing Queensland, the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit and Brisbane City Council on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day tomorrow.

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