Ethnic Communities mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 through continued advocacy and raising awareness of elder abuse in multicultural communities.

ECCV has been working closely with the Filipino, Macedonian, Chinese, Greek, Serbian and Turkish communities to raise awareness about this issue.

Culturally appropriate information has been developed, in close consultation with community advisory groups, and bilingual workers have been trained to deliver community education on elder abuse. This includes a film Within My Walls depicting common scenarios and overdubbed into seven languages, an official press release said.

Nearly 3000 people have attended community education delivered in the first language of participants, including film screenings, plays and visits to social clubs.

“Sadly, many older people are mistreated by people they trust. This type of mistreatment can even lead to older people becoming homeless. Up to 5% of people over 65 experience what is known as “elder abuse”. Elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their gender, culture or religion,” ECCV chairperson Eddie Micallef said.

“Elder abuse may be more hidden and more under-reported in ethnic communities than in the general population. Older people from migrant backgrounds may not know where to go for help or may rely more on their children following migration.”

“We need culturally responsive services and ethnic community education – that’s why this project is so important.
“When culturally diverse communities talk openly about this issue, it gives people permission to speak up if they or someone they know is experiencing abuse. The needs and wellbeing of older people are as important as those of the rest of the family.” (TIW)