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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
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.