Purple Melbourne Town Hall Shines Light On Elder Abuse

14 June 2015

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, today joined Seniors Rights Victoria to raise awareness of elder abuse by lighting up the Melbourne Town Hall in purple.

The United Nations declared June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to encourage worldwide action against the suffering and abuse of vulnerable older people in the community.

This year’s campaign in Victoria aims to highlight elder abuse as a form of family violence. Elder abuse can be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual abuse, as well as neglect. It is estimated that between two and six per cent of older people experience some form of abuse.

The latest Seniors Rights Victoria data shows elder abuse is most commonly committed against women, and by a family member that they trust such as a spouse or partner, son or daughter, sibling or grandchild.

It reveals that 92.3 per cent of elder abuse is perpetrated by someone the person is related to or in a relationship with. Around 67 per cent suffer at the hands of their adult children.

In 2006 the previous Labor Government established Seniors Rights Victoria – a free helpline, legal, referral and advocacy service which aims to prevent elder abuse.

The Andrews Labor Government has established Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence, which includes abuse of seniors in its terms of reference.

The Government has released the Elder Abuse Prevention Online Professional Education Training Course, which has seen almost 700 professionals working with elders undertake training to identify and respond to abuse. Work is also underway with the Municipal Association of Victoria to help councils raise awareness of elder abuse.

Older Victorians can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 or visiting Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley

“Tonight we’re turning the Melbourne Town Hall purple to raise awareness of elder abuse and give victims the confidence they need to speak up and get help.”

“Elder abuse is a form of family violence that occurs behind closed doors and often goes undetected.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson

“We have asked the Royal Commission into Family Violence to investigate how the system can better support the needs of high-risk groups in the community, including seniors and the disabled.”

“We know the system is broken and look forward to receiving the Royal Commission’s practical recommendations for lasting change.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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