By Norminda Forteza
Elder abuse can affect anyone irrespective of ethnicity. It can challenge our perceptions of family and community because these unacceptable acts are carried out by people closest to, and trusted by an older person. Elder abuse can be financial, physical, emotional, psychological, social or sexual. In Victoria, over 90% of perpetrators of elder abuse are relatives—a child, grandchild, sibling, partner or other close relative. Elder abuse is also gendered, with older women reporting abuse at more than twice the rate than older men. (Respect Victoria, 2019)
In 2014, the Ethnic Community Council of Victoria in partnership with various Filipino groups produced the film “Within my Walls” to raise awareness on elder abuse. The film aims to prevent elder abuse and violence against older people in ethnic communities. AFCS is committed to on-going community awareness and education to prevent elder abuse.
On June 15, Filipino Seniors in Victoria can watch this film accessible in Youtube: “Within My Walls: Erlinda’s story in Tagalog. The seniors are encouraged to take part in the AFCS led small group discussions via messenger on the topic: “What happens when conflicts with family and friends start to impact the older person? How can we help Erlinda? Participants can wear anything purple and make it our UBE DAY online.
To join, just SMS the Chaplain, 0438-919-678 with the message: “ I want to help Erlinda!”
If you need help or want to seek support on behalf of someone you know:
- Contact Seniors Rights Victoria confidential helpline: 1300 368 821. More information can be found on the Senior Rights Victoria website.
If you are experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence:
- Contact safe steps confidential helpline 1800 015 188 or try their live web chat service available 9am-9pm, Monday – Friday. Chats are anonymous and accessible to anyone experiencing violence or concerned about the welfare of a loved one. More information can be found on the Safe Steps website.
- Call 1800 Respect’s national helpline on 1800 737 732. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support people impacted by family violence, please call . More information can be found on the 1800 Respect website.
For a Filipino speaking support worker, please SMS the AFCS 0438-919-678. (We are not a 24-hour service)
If you are in danger please call 000.