World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today in Parliament, Abigail passed a motion calling on the NSW Government to protect, fund and support the needs of our rapidly growing elderly population, one in six of whom experience elder abuse in Australia.

Abigail said:

I move: 

(1) That this House notes that Saturday 15 June 2024 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day launched in 2006 to help communities around the world better recognise, understand and prevent the abuse and neglect of older persons, and to call on governments to take urgent action to prevent elder abuse. 

(2) That this House further notes that: 

  • according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
    • 1 in 6 Australians experience elder abuse in their lifetime, however, only 1 in 3 of these victims seek help; and
    • this abuse is most often committed by family members, specifically by children or grandchildren who make up 30% of perpetrators;
  • according to the Older Women’s Network of NSW, older women disproportionately make  up 70% of elder abuse victims due to factors including:
    • the exclusion of older women from conversations about, and efforts to end, violence against women which increases their risk of abuse and magnifies the systemic barriers to reporting gendered abuse;
    • limited research into the intersection of gender-based violence and elder abuse and the intersection of men who perpetrate intimate partner violence and then harm their older family members. The absence of this research has left the experiences of older women facing abuse invisible; and
    • a lack of specific services geared towards helping older women report and leave their abuse resulting in women over 55 becoming the fastest-growing homeless population in 2019; and
  • the threat of abuse that older women face is severe, with 14 older women out of 35 total women being killed this year as of 2 June 2024, half of whom were murdered by a family member, according to Counting Dead Women Australia.

(3) That this House calls on the NSW government to commit to protecting the needs of our rapidly growing elderly population by providing funding for resources, such as housing and support, for those who are abused and by supporting research on the intersection of ageism with other forms of discrimination to ensure that no individual slips through the cracks of our support systems, and by adequately funding the Ageing and Disability Commissioner. 


Motion agreed to.

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