Elder Abuse — See It. Expose It.


Human Wrongs Watch

Around one in six older people face abuse worldwide. Despite this fact, elder abuse remains invisible.

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15 June 2020 (UN)* — Emerging evidence is showing violence, abuse and neglect of older people has increased since the outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve also seen many cases reported in the media.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is an opportunity to raise awareness of the problem and influence key people to stop it. Join us on 15 June to expose elder abuse.

Here you will find some tools to help older people and communities recognise elder abuse and take action, as well as materials to engage with your local and national media, and support the global online campaign.

The change we want to make this year

We want to enable communities (family members, friends, neighbours and others) to recognise abuse and help older people affected by it to access safety and support. We also want to enable older people to seek support if they are experiencing abuse.

To achieve this, we need to:

  • Raise awareness of elder abuse
  • Raise awareness of ageism and the barriers to support that older people are currently facing
  • Inform communities and older people about what they can do

Our message in a nutshell

Here is a simple narrative to explain elder abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around one in six older people face abuse. But most people don’t know this.

Ageism means older people are seen as unworthy, vulnerable and unable to make decisions for themselves. This can lead to elder abuse.

Emerging evidence is showing abuse of older people has increased since the outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve also seen many cases reported in the media, including financial scams and domestic violence.

Lockdown living conditions pose higher risks of violence, abuse and neglect of older people who live with family members or caregivers. Stress, anxiety, financial problems have increased due to the pandemic which further add to the risk of abuse.

Help isn’t always available.

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Older people find themselves isolated from friends and services that can help them.

Police interventions and access to justice services have been reduced. Health and psychosocial services have also been reduced or have shifted to telephone or online support.

Older people with no access to internet, phone or those who have no technological skills are excluded. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Many older people find ways to deal with these situations and communities can also help.

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