Brisbane turns purple to shine light on elder abuse

Brisbane turns purple to shine light on elder abuse

Parliament House, Kurilpa Bridge, City Hall, Story Bridge and King George Square are among the iconic landmarks in Brisbane illuminated purple this week to help raise awareness for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the lighting of the landmarks supported the Palaszczuk Government’s call for communities across Queensland to join the fight against elder abuse, and would help create awareness of the growing issue.

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity for Queenslanders to stand together and voice their opposition to elder abuse in our communities,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Sadly, older people can be vulnerable to abuse, with more than 1350 new elder abuse notifications in Queensland in 2015 – up from around 1280 in the previous year.

“Whether it’s physical, emotional or financial, it’s a form of domestic abuse that is often hard to recognise and goes unreported.”

While opening the Caxton Legal Service World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event in South Brisbane today, Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had stepped up the fight against elder abuse, launching a new campaign ‘There’s no excuse for elder abuse.’

“Our campaign makes it absolutely clear there is never an excuse for elder abuse, by highlighting the types of excuses perpetrators commonly use and what actions the community can take to prevent it,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“It was developed after a key recommendation from the landmark Not Now, Now Ever report highlighted the growing need for government to step up the fight against elder abuse.

“Throughout June, this important campaign will be promoted in shopping centres, licensed venues and medical centres, on buses, and via digital and social media advertising – to ensure everyone sees the message.

“We also announced in our Budget yesterday that we are injecting $900,000 per year over three years starting in 2017-18 to expand the Seniors Legal and Support Services and the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit’s services.

“Older people are valuable members of our communities, and our Government will not tolerate any form of elder abuse.”

Caxton Legal Service Director Scott McDougall said as the aging population increased and considerable wealth was held in the hands of older Queenslanders, addressing elder abuse needed to be a major priority.

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a call-to-action for individuals, organisations, and communities to raise awareness about the abuse of elders and how best to respond,” Mr McDougall said.

“Elder abuse is everyone’s business and I’m pleased that the Queensland Government recognises this, by calling out the excuses perpetrators use to justify their behaviours.”

For more information about the campaign, visit www.qld.gov.au/noexcuseforelderabuse

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