As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disproportionately affect more vulnerable demographics, the Government is calling on Victorians to play their part in preventing elder abuse.
Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan today relaunched the successful Respect Older People. Call It Out campaign.
In 2019, the campaign was seen by one-in-six Victorians – with two-thirds of those who saw the campaign taking action as a result.
The pandemic has led to an increase in physical and social isolation for many older Victorians. Others have had to move back in with family members, or had to support adult children financially or emotionally.
Over 90 per cent of perpetrators of elder abuse in Victoria are related to the older person – a child, grandchild, sibling, partner or other relative. Elder abuse is also gendered, with older women reporting abuse at a far higher rate than men.
Elder abuse can be financial, physical, emotional, psychological, social or sexual. The campaign highlights the warning signs and encourages neighbours, family, friends, carers and the wider community to take action when it is safe to do so.
The campaign coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June, and will run across the state on television, radio and social media channels – as well as in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese to better reach our CALD communities.
The Victorian Government is working to prevent elder abuse in all its forms – funding 10 prevention networks that bring together community groups, organisations and businesses that engage with older people to raise awareness of elder abuse and respond to any suspected cases.
For more information on the campaign visit respectvictoria.vic.gov.au. If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse please call Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821, or call 000 if they are in immediate danger.
As noted by Minister for Women, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams
“The pressures of the pandemic have had significant impacts on older people in Victoria – and we want to remind all Victorians that identifying and stopping elder abuse is everybody’s business.”
As noted by Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“Discrimination based on age has no place in our society. By taking notice of what is happening in your family, neighbourhood or community, you can prevent or intervene to stop elder abuse.”
As noted by Chair of Respect Victoria Melanie Eagle
“We know elder abuse is often hidden behind closed doors – and we want this campaign to remind older Victorians that they have rights, agency and power if they are experiencing abusive behaviour.”