Victoria Police calls for help to stop rising elder abuse

June 25, 2024 BY

Reports from victims of elder abuse over the age of 65 have increased by 35 per cent in the past five years. Photo: PIXABAY

VICTORIA Police is urging community members that know or suspect an older person is being abused to speak up and make a report, as the instance of elder abuse continues to rise.

Last year Victoria Police received almost 6,000 reports of elder abuse and according to data from the Crime Statistics Agency, the number of victims over the age of 65 has increased by 35 per cent in the last five years.

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust.

This abuse is regarded as a form of family violence and may be physical, financial, social, psychological or sexual in nature and can include mistreatment and neglect.

Examples of elder abuse may include intimidation, forced childcare, preventing the older person from participating in usual forms of enjoyment or, either intentionally or unintentionally, failing to provide basic necessities.

Family violence command acting superintendent Tom Nairn said elder abuse is often carried out at the hands of family members, friends or even paid carers.

“Police see the devasting impact of elder abuse every day,” he said.

He said the crime is often recognised or suspected by third-party individuals, such as aged care workers, lawyers or banking institution professions, and encouraged anyone who notices the signs to come forward to assist Victoria Police to stop those causing the abuse.

“If third parties are prepared to speak up and report to police, any information provided is vital to assisting the safety of the older person or their assets,” Mr Nairn said.

“The majority of perpetrators are other family members who need to be held to account for these crimes – so by telling us, we can do something about it and keep victims safe.”

In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000), or in non-urgent cases, for those who prefer to make an anonymous report about known or suspected elder abuse, head to the Crime Stoppers Victoria website.

Support is also available at seniorsrights.org.au or via Seniors’ Rights Victoria’s free confidential helpline on 1300 368 821.

Surf Coast Times – Free local news in your inbox

Breaking news, community, lifestyle, real estate, and sport.