Media Releases

26 August 2020 – Mental health, substance abuse key elder abuse risk factors

A new report examining seven years of elder abuse data shows over 90 per cent of perpetrators are family members, and substance abuse, gambling and mental health are increasingly contributing factors.

The report: Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria, released on 26 August by Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) and the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), analyses 2385 cases of elder abuse reported to SRV from June 2012 to July 2019.

The analysis considers the characteristics of clients and perpetrators, as well as information about the type of abuse, risk factors, referrals and outcomes.

Access the full report here. A summary version of the report is available here.

06 April 2020 – Community alert on increase of elder abuse

Seniors Rights Victoria has issued an alert highlighting the potential increase of elder abuse in the community as a hidden impact of the COVID-19 emergency.

Research suggests that up to 14 per cent of older people may experience it in the form of physical, emotional, financial, social or sexual abuse.
Elder abuse can cause stress, anxiety and depression and lead to increased risk of ill health, hospitalisation and early death.

15 June 2018 – No excuse for elder abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

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.

For this year’s WEAAD, Seniors Rights Victoria asked two former clients to share their stories about elder abuse within their families. It was hard for both Victorian women to speak about their experiences, but then neither want any family to endure what they have. Elder abuse is not a happy story, but changes can be made.

Go to Maria* and Meg’s* stories to listen to their experiences of elder abuse or click on the  heading to read more about elder abuse.

Please note the personal details for Maria* and Meg* were changed to protect their privacy.

8 March 2018 – Call to action for elder abuse to be addressed head-on

Advocacy bodies, seniors’ groups and community legal services have joined forces to commit unanimously to tackling elder abuse and are calling for immediate action on a national scale.

At the recent National Elder Abuse Conference, the group of organisations welcomed a National Plan on Elder Abuse, but said immediate funding was needed now and in the 2018-19 budgets of all governments across Australia to support efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse.

14 June 2016 – Invitation to Seniors Rights Victoria’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event – Media Alert

Please join us to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, an annual day designated by the UN to focus public attention on this insidious problem. There will be a speech by the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence  and the launch of the report  ‘The older person’s experience: outcomes of interventions into elder abuse’.

30 March 2016  – RCFV gives elder abuse the recognition it deserves – Media Release

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.

24 February 2016 – Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes new inquiry into elder abuse – Media Release

Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes this morning’s announcement by Federal Attorney General George Brandis that the Australian Law Reform Commission will conduct an inquiry into laws and frameworks to safeguard older Australians from elder abuse.

18 February 2016  –  National conference to tackle elder abuse – Media Alert

The 4th National Elder Abuse Conference, hosted by Seniors Rights Victoria in Melbourne from 23-25 February 2016, is seeking a national approach to tackling the insidious problem of elder abuse.Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes this morning’s announcement by Federal Attorney General George Brandis that the Australian Law Reform Commission will conduct an inquiry into laws and frameworks to safeguard older Australians from elder abuse.

15 July 2015 – Seniors Rights Victoria to present on elder abuse at the Royal Commission into Family Violence – Media Release

On Thursday 16 July, Jenny Blakey, Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria, will present at the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s public hearings: the ‘Financial abuse and Empowerment’ module.

1 June 2015 – Minister to shine light on elder abuse – Media Alert

On Monday 15 June,  Martin Foley, Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, will light up the Melbourne Town Hall in purple to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at a Seniors Rights Victoria function.

21 January 2015 – Elder abuse is a family violence issue too – Media Release

Seniors Rights Victoria welcomes the announcement of the Terms of Reference for the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, but says it must address elder abuse too.

26 November 2014 – Elder Abuse a forgotten election issue – Media Release 

As the Victorian election approaches, Seniors Rights Victoria commends the commitments of the major parties’ to family violence reform, but says elder abuse must not be forgotten in the mix.

15 June 2014 – Purple Power for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014 – Media Release

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day to promote respect and dignity for older people, and a day to wear purple. According to Seniors Rights Victoria elder abuse is a problem that affects around 154 000 older Australians.

15 June 2013  – Purple Spire for Elder Abuse Awareness 2013 – Media Release

The Arts Centre spire will turn purple this weekend to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday June 15 as people across the world wear purple to show they care about ending elder abuse.

15 June 2012 – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Media Release

Abuse of older people is a hidden issue, often occurring behind closed doors between family members. Until very recently elder abuse was barely recognized in public discussions of violence in families.

13 June 2012 – Launch of Guide for Lawyers to Assist Older Clients At Risk of Financial Abuse – Media Alert

Seniors Rights Victoria will launch a new guide for lawyers to assist older clients at risk of financial abuse. “Older people should think carefully and seek legal advice before agreeing to exchange their assets for promises of ongoing care by family members,” says Jenny Blakey, the Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria.

10 June 2011- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 15 June – Ageism increases the risk of abuse of older people  – Media Release

A leading international gerontologist has said that that the prevalence of ageism within the community increases the risk of older people experiencing elder abuse. Having a better understanding of the occurrence of elder abuse and its relationship to ageism within society can lead to more sustainable solutions to the problem.

11 June 2010  – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Call to end elder abuse  – Media Release

Seniors Rights Victoria reports elder abuse continues to be a persistent and yet under-recognised issue affecting Victoria’s most vulnerable people. Sue Hendy, Chief Executive Officer, Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA), says financial, psychological and emotional abuses are the most common forms of abuse against older people in Australia.