Within My Walls

eccvWhat happens when relationships with friends and family go wrong?

The short film Within My Walls is a glimpse into the lives of older people in suburban Melbourne, who have been affected by mistreatment at the hands of their families.  Launched by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) with Intafusion films on 15 October, this landmark film is a community education tool designed to generate discussion about the topic of elder abuse.

Elder abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological and/or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. Elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, culture or religion, but because of shame, stigma, lack of awareness and options, it may be more hidden and under-reported in ethnic communities than in the general population. “ECCV’s advisory groups identified factors such as stigma about accepting help outside the family, not knowing where to go for help and increased dependency on adult children due to migration”, said ECCV’s deputy chairperson Marion Lau OAM.

The film’s stories show common elder abuse scenarios experienced in ethnic communities using the narrative approach to community education. When communities start to talk openly about elder abuse, it gives people permission to speak up if they or someone they know is experiencing it. Within My Walls has been overdubbed in seven languages (Cantonese, Greek, Macedonian, Mandarin, Serbian, Tagalog and Turkish) so those with low literacy do not have to read subtitles.

The process for developing the film was highly collaborative, with ECCV’s community advisory groups and Seniors Rights Victoria closely involved in Intafusion’s production. Speakers at the launch included Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Health Georgie Crozier and representatives from the ECCV, Seniors Rights Victoria and the Victoria Law Foundation (a funder, along with the Department of Health).

The launch included a screening of Within My Walls and an information clip about elder abuse.  This was followed by a lively Q&A with the filmmakers and ECCV, who were then joined by the cast for photographs. Afterwards we all came together for highly enjoyable networking drinks and snacks.

This film may be obtained and distributed by contacting Fiona York at the ECCV: fyork@eccv.org.au