The Honourable Susan Ryan AO, Age Discrimination Commissioner, launched ECLC’s elder abuse video Behind the Curtain at St Vincent’s Hospital, Wednesday 9 December, 2015.
The two-minute video about elder abuse was created by Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) to help educate GPs about indicators of family violence, services and referral information. Behind the Curtain tells the story of Anna who begins to experience elder abuse after family members move interstate.
ECLC’s Elder Abuse Prevention Advocate Kaz Mackay explains that primary health providers play an important role in assisting people experiencing elder abuse.
“Very often, a GP is the only professional that an older person will disclose their abuse to, yet few GP’s seem to understand elder abuse or have knowledge of appropriate local services to refer their patients to,” said Ms Mackay.
Elder abuse is a growing issue for Australia. Elder abuse is any act of harm to an older person that is committed by someone with whom the older person has a relationship of trust such as a partner, family member or friend. This can take the form of financial, psychological and physical abuse.
ECLC CEO Michael Smith explains that part of the silence and complexity around elder abuse is the reluctance that many people who are experiencing the abuse to take action or criticise their adult children and relatives.
“Our lawyers often find that clients who are suffering from elder abuse do not want to press charges against their own adult child. Most do not want to view the behaviour as abuse,” said Mr Smith.
Behind the Curtain was created with funds from the former Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local.
Visit ECLC’s Elder Abuse page for more information.