Elder Abuse Prevention
Since 2012, ECCV has been delivering community education programs to raise awareness of elder abuse, its prevention and supports among culturally and linguistically diverse seniors in Victoria.
People from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience multiple and unique forms of disadvantage that place them at greater risk of elder abuse. Research shows the most common forms of elder abuse are psychological abuse, neglect and financial abuse.
ECCV, in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria, is reaching some of the most vulnerable in our communities to raise awareness and prevent elder abuse. Some of our culturally appropriate programs include:
- Co-designing in-language resources with targeted communities
- Training Bilingual Community Educators to deliver community information sessions
- Strong community outreach and engagement
- Ongoing research and advocacy.
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any act causing harm to an older person that is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as a family member, relative or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual, and can include mistreatment and neglect.
Elder abuse most commonly occurs within the family. Although it is believed to be greatly under-reported, the World Health Organisation estimates elder abuse affects 1-10 per cent of older people worldwide.
Elder Abuse Educator Training
In collaboration with Seniors Rights Victoria, ECCV conducts free Elder Abuse Bilingual Community Educator Training sessions for people working with culturally diverse seniors, support services or community organisations.
Once they have completed the training, we also support bicultural community educators to deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate information sessions to raise awareness of elder abuse in their communities and direct them to the appropriate support services available in Victoria.
The two-day training program is conducted online and in-person.
Elder abuse literature review
Elder abuse affects many older Australians, particularly those from migrant and refugee backgrounds. However, little is known about the underlying drivers, associated risk factors and impacts, and the contexts in which elder abuse occurs in these communities.
ECCV’s literature review examines the risk factors contributing to elder abuse, including ageism, cultural norms and beliefs, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate welfare systems. The findings of this review suggest that people from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience multiple and unique forms of disadvantage that place them at greater risk of elder abuse.
‘Within My Walls’ Video Series
The Within My Walls video series was produced by ECCV in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria.
The short film series is a community education resource that explores the lives of older people in suburban Melbourne who have been impacted by mistreatment by their family.
The five videos are intended to encourage discussion about seniors’ rights and elder abuse. They address stigma about accepting help outside the family, not knowing where to go for help and increased dependency on adult children due to migration.
The series is available in 14 languages.
Elder Abuse Prevention Brochures
We all have a right to respect and dignity as we get older. However, relationships with family and friends can go wrong.
ECCV, in collaboration with Senior Rights Victoria, has created useful brochures for seniors from migrant and refugee backgrounds, so they can get the help they need.
The brochures are available in 17 languages: Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Croatian, Filipino, Greek, Hindi, Macedonian, Polish, Punjabi, Serbian, Spanish, Russian, Tamil, Turkish and Vietnamese.
Where to get help
If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through Senior Rights Victoria’s confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If you require an interpreter, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to call the helpline.
Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.
You can also call 1800ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) for free and confidential support.
Funded by the Victorian Government.