Tag Archives: Data reporting

Close up of an older woman's hands using a mobile phone.

Understanding the impact of COVID on older Victorians

Victoria had Australia’s longest COVID-19 lockdown last year and maintaining contact with older people was a priority for COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria during this time.

To better understand how the pandemic and lockdown may have affected elder abuse, Seniors Rights Victoria compared the calls its helpline received in 2020, with those received the year before.

In 2020, there were significant increases in calls about psychological abuse (748, up 32%); physical abuse (184, up 40%); and social abuse (170, up 21%). This correlates with data collected by the Crime Statistics Agency which showed an increase in elder abuse incidents attended by Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria. read more

COTA Victoria's survey 'Coronavirus - checking in on the older people's experience.

COTA Victoria’s survey of older Victorian’s COVID experiences

Both SRV and COTA Victoria quickly recognised that social isolation and fear about the COVID-19 pandemic would be serious issues for older people. However, it was also acknowledged that more research would need to be done to understand the impact of COVID-19 on older people and elder abuse.

COTA Victoria also conducted an online and telephone survey of older people aged mostly between 65 and 84. The primary aim of the survey was to ensure the voices of older people were included in public discussions about how to plan, manage and recover from natural disasters and community emergencies. read more

An orange 7 against a purple background covered in cartoon older people. Title of the publication: Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria.

Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria

Seniors Rights Victoria, in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute, analysed seven years of advice call data to produce this report about elder abuse in Victoria. Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria gives an overview of who experiences abuse, who is responsible for perpetrating abuse, and what some of the contributing factors are. This project was funded by the State Trustees Australia Foundation. Highlights of the report include:

  • Over the seven years, the service has continued to grow, with a steep increase in the number of advice calls following the tabling of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence in early 2016.
  • The advice call clients were 72% women and 28% men.
  • Most clients (78%) lived in the Melbourne Greater Metropolitan area and were aged 70 or over (72%).
  • Almost two thirds of clients disclosed that they had experienced psychological abuse (63%) or financial abuse (62%), with many clients experiencing more than one type of abuse. Approximately 16% of clients experienced physical abuse and 11% social abuse (11%). Relatively few calls were received for neglect (1.2%) and sexual abuse (0.8%).
  • Almost all abuse (91%) experienced by advice call clients was perpetrated by a family member, most commonly sons (39%) or daughters (28%).
  • The majority of perpetrators were men (54%), however, the proportion of female perpetrators varied by ten per cent (41 to 51%) during the seven-years, reaching 51% in one 12-month period.
  • Drug, alcohol or gambling issues afflicted a rising number of perpetrators, averaging 35% over the seven-year period.
  • Mental health issues were experienced by an increasing number of perpetrators, rising to 39% in the most recent period.

In August 2020 an online panel discussion was held to launch the report. Hosted by Commissioner for Senior Victorians Gerard Mansour, the panellists discussed elder abuse occurring within the family and some of the contributing factors affecting perpetrators. read more