Black Ribbon New Zealand
Ending Domestic Violence for Everyone!

Elder Abuse & Neglect

People aged over 65 make up just under 15% of the New Zealand population. (734,900/4,900,600 - NZ.Stat). The New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing has shown that 10% of over 65's living in our community experience abuse. It is believed that the majority of cases will go unreported.

That's an astounding 73,000+ members of our older population experiencing abuse in our communities!

Elder abuse is defined as:

"...a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person." (Action on Elder Abuse, 2004; WHO/INPEA, 2002)

Black Ribbon New Zealand is concerned that while elder abuse is so prevalent in New Zealand, there seems to be little public narrative in the media. As a result, there is much that the average New Zealander does not know about elder abuse. For example, the majority of cases of elder abuse (about 80%) are perpetrated by family members, and often the home caregiver who is responsible for the abuse is female - a daughter. This means that women in particular need to step up, talk about, and be proactive in stamping out elder abuse from domestic environments.

These are the messages that we need to be delivering to our communities.


Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or neglect, Age Concern can help you. Age Concern Elder Abuse Services can be found across the country, with contacts to local support here.
  • If you cannot find a service close to you, please contact 0800 EA NOT OK (0800 32 668 65) or Age Concern on 0800 65 2 105.
  • If you or someone you know is in danger, please contact 111.



Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on June 15th.

It was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 66/127, December 2011.

It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations.