In more wonderful work supported by Celebrate Ageing, 96-year-old Margarita Solis (pictured) last week launched a film sharing her story of sexual abuse perpetrated by the acting manager of the Seniors Rental Service where she was living.
Margarita is co-leading a campaign to prevent sexual abuse of older women. She shared her story on film to create a resource educating service providers and community members about the transformative power of listening to older women.
Margarita also wants to tell older women that sexual abuse is not their fault, and that there are support services available. The 18-minute film was previewed at Embolden (an annual Festival challenging ageism and building respect for older people) and at the recent Australian Association of Gerontology Conference before its public launch last week. Margarita is now surrounded by friends and feels safe in a residential aged care service that cares about her wellbeing.
“I hope that Margarita’s story will end the silence – I know of no other older woman who has felt safe enough to share her story publicly,” Dr Catherine Barrett said.
“In February 2019 we will launch a National story project…because we need to make sure that there is action, that the Royal Commission into Aged Care includes sexual abuse and that the National Strategy for Preventing Elder Abuse does as well.
To read more about the project and view the film go to Margarita’s page on the Opal Institute site.