Domestic Abuse and Older People

Published Wednesday, 10th June 2015

Elder abuse

A Southend multi-agency partnership is highlighting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Monday 15th June.

This special day has been designated by the United Nations to bring together senior citizens, their caregivers and governments to combat the problem of elder abuse.

To support this global endeavour, Southend Domestic Abuse Strategy Group is stepping up its awareness campaign to encourage people to report suspected abuse through a variety of key local channels.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders.

In addition, it seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies.

Here, Southend Domestic Abuse Strategy Group – a multi-agency group of organisations working together to tackle domestic abuse - is circulating leaflets with important details to help residents know exactly what to do if they are experiencing abuse themselves, or believe someone they know is being abused.

In addition, the group wants to draw attention to the special anonymous reporting line for elder abuse – 0800 032 7644.

This was launched in February as part of a nine-month national trial and is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex, Nick Alston.

The line is manned by Crimestoppers call handlers who will pass information to the relevant Safeguarding Adults Board of Essex, Thurrock or Southend.

Information will also be passed to the police if a crime is thought to have taken place.

In 2013/14 there were 104,050 cases nationally which raised concerns about the abuse of an adult – 63 per cent of which were over 65.

Meanwhile, in Essex there were 1497 cases which involved people over 65.

Executive Councillor for Health and Adult Social Care, Councillor James Moyies said: “It is very important for us all to keep a watchful eye on elderly and more vulnerable people in our community and to know exactly what to do if we suspect they are being unfairly or badly treated.

“Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or general neglect and it can happen anywhere – in a care home, hospital or the victim’s own home.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day reminds us afresh about this issue, so we urge everyone to take note of these essential contact details:

· In an emergency, call 999

· If not an emergency, call 101

· Domestic Abuse dedicated non-emergency number 0800 358 0351

· Ask SAL – Safeguarding Adults helpline 08452 66 66 63

· Safer Places – to support individual needs and help with refuge accommodation, or in the community: 0845 0177 668

· SOS Domestic Abuse Projects – for women 01702 302333

· South East Essex Advocacy for Older People – Advocacy services for older people aged 60+  01702 340566

· Anonymous reporting line for elder abuse - 0800 032 7644. For more information, visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/essex-elder-abuse or follow Twitter campaign #SpeakUp