Focus on elder abuse

19-06-2019 by admin

Empowering: West Pennant Hills residents Aksheya and Shubha Kumar launched the domestic violence prevention group, Next Step. Picture: Isabella Lettini

A community forum will aim to raise awareness of domestic violence and elder abuse in The Hills.

The India Club will hold another forum as part of a series aimed at tackling the rate of domestic violence in all areas of the community.

India Club chairman Aksheya Kumar said while elder abuse was prevalent in the Indian community of The Hills, it could affect anyone from any background.

“Victims may not realise straight away what is happening to them, but once they do become aware they become bold and they seek help,” Mr Kumar said.

Elder abuse is typically characterised as a form of domestic violence where the victim is kept from having control of their finances or where their health is neglected.

“All of which causes serious health impacts and can shorten the lives of our older citizens,” The Hills local area commander superintendent Rob Critchlow said.“It’s something that affects every community, but there are some features of Indian families where we’ve noticed it having a bigger impact–the Indian community had been very courageous in addressing these issues publicly.”

The forum,a joint initiative between the India Club, The Hills LAC and The Hills Council, will take place on June 8, coinciding withWorld Elder Abuse Day.

In March, the India Club launched Next Step, a program aimed at holding regular meetings and events to address the rates of domestic violence.

Mr Kumar said they hoped to make an impact by holding meetings and events more regularly and build stronger relationships with those who may be affected.

“This kind of elder abuse is more common in the Indian community but the forum is open to all,” he said.“We hope it will help problems in families that may be hidden to come to the surface, so that something can be done to guide them –this is for those who are willing to empower victims and give them options.”

Superintendent Critchlow said the role of the police was to keep people safe, and that they were available for people to ask questions and be referred to services.

“It’s invaluable to have these discussions –people are often ill-informed about the risks facing older people and the abuse of older people is a very difficult situation for many families, because it involves financial pressures, relationships, and language barriers.”

Details: 10.30am – 12.30pm, June 8, 2016, The Hills Council Chambers, 3 Columbia Circuit, Baulkham Hills. Bookings:0402 257 588.

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