The prevention of, and response to, elder abuse is one of COTA Victoria’s key policy areas. Our work in the elder abuse sector is carried out through Seniors Rights Victoria, the key state-wide service and specialist community legal centre.
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.
What policy work does Seniors Right Victoria do?
Seniors Rights Victoria advances the rights of older people and works to prevent elder abuse by advocating for policy changes and law reform. This involves making submissions to government inquiries and Royal Commissions, promoting our policy positions through discussion papers, and conducting and taking part in research to better understand the contexts in which elder abuse occurs.
Seniors Rights Victoria advocacy work and submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence was integral to elder abuse being recognised as a form of family violence. As the government continues its reform agenda we continue to provide guidance and advice on ensuring older people are well-served by the family violence system.
Our submissions to government inquiries bring together our cross-sector expertise and our experience working with older people who have faced elder abuse. Our submission to the Royal Commission on Aged Care highlighted the ways older people’s rights can be disregarded when the focus is on safeguarding rather than respect. Our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health services showed the way elder abuse can result in mental distress, as well as how mental illness can make someone at higher risk of abuse.
Our ongoing series of discussion papers assists professionals in a variety of sectors to better understand elder abuse, and how it intersects with other issues. We also instigate and contribute to research projects to develop the evidence base regarding the drivers and contexts of elder abuse. By unpacking the unique characteristics of elder abuse we can better shape primary prevention and interventions in the sector.
One of our current priorities is trying to better understand what drives people to perpetrate elder abuse, and how this might be addressed. We are looking for opportunities to build the evidence base regarding perpetrators and how their behaviours can be mitigated.
Get in touch
Please get in touch if you require more information or would like to discuss research, policy and systemic advocacy opportunities.