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Keeping older Victorians safe

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was recognised last Saturday, providing an opportunity for communities to stand together against the abuse, mistreatment, and neglect of older people.

The form in which elder abuse takes place can vary from person to person, and can be financial, emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or social. It can be a once off occasion or occur several times, and it can be minor or have severe and lifelong consequences.

However, no matter the form of abuse, its frequency or severity, elder abuse is unacceptable, and perpetrators face harsh consequences, including two years imprisonment.

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According to Elder Abuse Awareness Day, two-thirds of abusers are adult children, though this can extend to other family members, relatives, friends, and even carer’s.

Older women are more at risk of experiencing elder abuse, with two-thirds of women seeking help from Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV).

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and LGBTQI+ communities are additionally vulnerable, as are older people living in rural and regional communities.

Recent studies suggests that 160,000 older Victorians experience elder abuse each year. It is important to note, however, that these statistics only include those who felt comfortable sharing their responses to researchers, so it is assumed that this figure is much higher.

SRV works to prevent elder abuse from occurring by offering free legal advice and information, as well a range of educational and advocacy activities. The centre states that they are ‘committed to safeguarding the rights, dignity and independence of older Victorians.’

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