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New website tackles elder abuse issues


A new knowledge hub provides resources and tools to help prevent elder abuse and recognise it when it occurs.

The website, Compass – Guiding action on elder abuse, was jointly launched by national peak body Elder Abuse Action Australia and the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department last Friday.

The federally-funded initiative is part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023, which was launched in March, and comes in response to organisations and individuals calling for a national knowledge hub on elder abuse.

The website, which was developed by EAAA, includes information on identifying and understanding elder abuse, a guide on how to respond to instances of abuse and resources to support older people and their families.

EAAA board member Cybele Koning said the website was a positive step towards tackling elder abuse.

“Australia [is] taking a large step forward in tackling elder abuse, using an online gateway to raise awareness and provide information for older people, their families and the community about preventing and responding to the abuse of older Australians,” Ms Koning said.

It is pleasing how the website “promotes older Australians as rights holders; their right to autonomy, independence, supports, services, and protections for lives free from violence, abuse, mistreatment and neglect,” Ms Koning said.

Resources on the website include brochures, flyers and posters about elder abuse, links to legal and financial resources, policies and legislation and research papers.

“It is anticipated the website will grow to include more resources especially for diverse communities and for frontline services supporting older people experiencing abuse,” said Ms Koning, CEO of Caxton Legal Centre.

Christian Porter

Attorney-General Christian Porter said the website was a critical first step towards calling out abuse directed at older Australians.

“Elder abuse is a complex health and social issue which can have devastating physical, emotional and social consequences, Mr Porter said.

“People experiencing or witnessing elder abuse will have this resource to give them details of support services in their area and provide important information on actions they can take themselves to reduce the risk of exposure to abuse,” he said.

The website includes real stories of elder abuse victims and how they dealt with and overcame the abuse.

It also includes a directory with support services around the country.

Greater functionality and service sector resources will be available from mid-2020.

Access the website here.

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