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. Rates of elder abuse are under reported, but the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14 per cent of older people in Australia are affected.
Around Victoria, a variety of events and activities are being organised. This year’s events include information sessions and forums covering topics from how to recognise elder abuse, to how to protect your rights and where to find help.
Groups and individuals are encouraged to wear the symbolic purple colour of WEAAD and share information with their friends, families and communities. Melbourne Town Hall will be dressing for the occasion on June 15, with WEAAD banners on display and purple lights illuminating it.
It’s easy for anyone to get involved in WEAAD. Our toolkit has been updated for 2019 and is full of ideas and resources to get you started. It includes information on how to order merchandise like purple ribbons, along with links to posters, social media and web banners. We’ve also included our Finish the Sentence poster from 2017.
If you are active on social media, join Seniors Rights Victoria on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date. We love seeing what activities everyone gets involved in, so make sure you tag or share your photos with us.
If you are an older Victorian experiencing elder abuse or are concerned about an older person, call Seniors Rights Victoria’s confidential helpline on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.