World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.
Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.
WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. According to the World Health Organisation, prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries – ranging from 1 to 10 per cent. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious.
Individuals, communities, municipalities and organisations will come together across the globe to hold events on 15 June that raise awareness of elder abuse. These activities are often hosted with the aim of bringing greater recognition of the mistreatment of older adults wherever they live throughout the world and to highlight the need for appropriate action.
Seniors Rights Victoria Manager Jenny Blakey said there was a growing acknowledgement of elder abuse as a form of family violence.
“Just as respectful relationships within families help prevent family violence, respect for older family members is a primary protection against elder abuse, particularly when it comes to a family’s financial arrangements,” Ms Blakey said.
In Victoria, Australia, you are welcome to register your event on Senior Rights Victoria’s WEAAD website. Support your event with promotion material by using the WEAAD Toolkit which includes free image downloads to use as holding slides, email banners and social media prompts. Feel free to customise request for media coverage using our generic media release.
Seniors Rights Victoria is a state-wide specialist elder abuse service that provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people. View information on their website is www.seniorsrights.org.au or contact the free, confidential Helpline: 1300 368 821.