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Working to protect NSW from elder abuse

15 Jun 2017

The NSW Government will contribute nearly $200,000 to a federal research initiative to identify older Australians who need protection from abuse, Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies announced today, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

“The nature of elder abuse means it is often hidden within a family home or other care-giving setting and we need to know the size of the problem so we can provide resources and support where it is needed,” Mrs Davies said.

Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC welcomed the $192,600 contribution from NSW towards the first stage of the Commonwealth Government’s $990,000 national elder abuse research agenda.

“The Commonwealth is working closely with the NSW Government and other state and territory governments to combat this complex and heartbreaking issue,” Senator Brandis said.

Stage one of the research will lay the foundations for a stronger evidence base on elder abuse in Australia, and the NSW Government funding will help to engage hard to reach or vulnerable older people. In particular, it will assist in reaching culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous communities, who are so often under represented in research.

“Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse. Often the perpetrators are in a position of trust and intimacy, which is devastating,” Senator Brandis said.

The study forms part of the NSW Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse in NSW, and will support work already underway, including ongoing delivery of the Get it in Black and White campaign, and the continued funding of $1.3 million for the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit.
“Abuse inflicted on any older person in the community is intolerable, and this work reaffirms the NSW Government’s commitment to improving safeguards for vulnerable older people.” Mrs Davies said.

Anyone who witnesses, experiences or suspects elder abuse should call the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit on 1800 628 221. Emergencies should be reported to the NSW Police by calling 000. For more information, go to www.elderabusehelpline.com.au