Summary

  • Elder abuse is an act that causes harm to an older person, carried out by someone the older person knows and trusts.
  • If you or someone you know is in an unsafe or life threatening situation you should ring Victoria Police on 000.
  • The Victorian Government funds Seniors Rights Victoria to provide a helpline and a free and confidential legal advice, advocacy and referral service for older Victorians.

Elder Abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as family and friends. It is a form of family violence, in that most perpetrators are family members.  Elder abuse reflects the ageism that is rife in our society today as well as the gender inequality.

All forms of abuse are unacceptable. Elder abuse can affect anyone, irrespective of background, gender, ethnicity or means.

Research from Australia and overseas shows that around 5% of older people may be experiencing elder abuse. The real number may be higher because many people feel they cannot speak up.

Never feel ashamed to ask for help.

If you feel you are being physically abused, bullied or pressured to do things by someone you know; or if someone you rely on is neglecting you, threatening or failing to look after you as they promised…speak up!

Your safety and wellbeing is important.

If you are experiencing elder abuse and would like information and advice, call Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 - a Victorian Government funded free helpline, legal, advocacy and referral service.

Seniors Rights Victoria is a confidential service staffed by qualified and experienced people who can provide advice, information and support to older people experiencing elder abuse.

If you or someone you know is in an unsafe or life threatening situation you should ring Victoria Police on 000.

Elder abuse prevention in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Elder abuse can affect anyone irrespective of ethnicity.

It can challenge our perceptions of family and community because these unacceptable acts are carried out by people closest to, and trusted by an older person.

The Victorian Government has provided funding to the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) to work in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria to raise community awareness of elder abuse in ethnic communities.

In October 2014, ECCV launched Within My Walls, a community education short film resource on elder abuse, which is available in eight languages.

For more information visit the project website Elder abuse prevention in ethnic communities.

Victorian Government Fact Sheets on elder abuse prevention

Information about elder abuse prevention is available for members of the community. You can download the English version of this Fact Sheet in PDF (303KB)  or Word (69KB).

Additional resources

A short flyer about elder abuse prevention is also available for download in PDF (312 KB) or Word (16.7KB) format for you to print out and display.

If you speak a Language Other than English (LOTE), you can also download a Fact Sheet in your language below. These are listed in alphabetical order by language.

Elder abuse fact sheets in other languages