Media Release: RCFV gives elder abuse the recognition it deserves

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 30 2016

 www.seniorsrights.org.au

RCFV gives elder abuse the recognition it deserves

Seniors Rights Victoria has welcomed the Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV) report, thanking all involved for giving elder abuse the recognition it deserves.

‘Not only does the chapter on older people comprehensively and sensitively address the many issues involved in elder abuse – the whole report contains recommendations that will benefit older people’, says Seniors Rights Victoria’s Manager, Jenny Blakey.

“The report is a triumph for recognition of diversity in family violence. We are delighted by the underlying principles that recognise the particular experiences and needs of older people. Picking up on Seniors Rights Victoria’s submission to the inquiry, the report has specifically recommended more information on elder abuse for older people, better training of aged care service providers, the trialling of a Victoria Police elder abuse response team and more funding for Seniors Rights Victoria to provide expert training to the broader family violence sector’, says Ms Blakey.

‘Elsewhere, the report emphasises the importance of developing a restorative justice pilot program which will particularly benefit older people; and ensuring public awareness campaigns, behaviour change programs and respectful relationships curricula in schools address inter-generational violence and ageism. The report also advocates reviewing the Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF), improving accommodation options for survivors, rolling out St Vincent’s Hospital’s elder abuse model of care state-wide and including elder abuse data in the proposed Victorian Family Violence Index. All these proposals will be of great benefit for people who may or do experience elder abuse’.

‘Seniors Rights Victoria is looking forward to working with the Government during the consultation and implementation period for this report. In particular, we’d like to discuss the importance of integrating elder abuse regional coordinators into the recommended Support and Safety Hubs, and of including older people on the new Victim Survivors Advisory Council. There is also an outstanding need for a proper prevalence study into the incidence of elder abuse in Australia’, says Ms Blakey.

Elder abuse is vastly under-reported, but the World Health Organisation estimates that up to 10 per cent of older people worldwide are affected. It is defined as any act which causes harm to an older person by someone they know and trust. 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.

ENDS 

For more information and to arrange interviews please contact Caitlin Evans on (03) 9655 2119, 0423707549 or via cevans@seniorsrights.org.au.