Ararat Rural City Council says no excuse for elder abuse

Posted Friday 8 June, 03:26pm

Ararat Rural City Council will be hosting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 to help raise awareness about elder abuse.

To mark the occasion, some of Ararat’s most recognisable buildings will be turning purple overnight – the designated colour of the cause which highlights one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society.

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.

Ararat Rural City Council Acting Mayor, Cr Gwenda Allgood said it was important to raise awareness about elder abuse as it can be experienced by older people with little recognition or response.

“This is a social issue which affects the health, well-being, independence and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of all in the community, including our community,” Cr Allgood said.

In most cases elder abuse is an intergenerational form of family violence. In 2016-17, people aged 60 years or over made up just over 5,400 of the family members affected in family violence incidents recorded by Victoria Police (Crime Statistics Agency).

Cr Allgood said by participating in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 it is hoped awareness can be raised locally.

“We are hoping people might drive past buildings such as the Shire Hall or Visitor Information Centre and notice it is lit up in purple and start the conversation.”

Some of the buildings which will be illuminated in purple will be the Shire Hall, Municipal Offices and Visitor Information Centre. Some businesses in Barkly Street have also indicated they will participate in the initiative.

For more information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, please contact Ararat Rural City Council Early Years and Positive Ageing Co-ordinator, Melissa Murdoch on 5355 0252.

If you or some you know is experiencing Elder Abuse, please contact the Seniors Rights Victoria helpline on 1300 368 821.