Elder abuse

Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. It can be emotional, psychological, financial, physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.

Many people do not discuss their concerns with others because of feelings of shame, fear of retaliation, the involvement of family members or fear they will be institutionalised. Some people may not realise what they are experiencing is abuse, or feel that somehow it is their fault.

Elder abuse can include…

  • frightening someone by threatening to hurt a pet or break belongings
  • intimidating, humiliating, or harassing a person
  • threatening to evict someone or put them in a nursing home
  • stopping a person from seeing family or friends
  • denying someone the right to make their own decisions
  • pension skimming
  • selling belongings without permission
  • misusing an Enduring Power of Attorney by taking money or property improperly
  • forcing a person to change their will
  • denying someone access or control of their own funds
  • not allowing services to help someone
  • neglecting a person’s physical, medical or emotional needs
  • slapping, hitting, pushing or restraining
  • making unwanted sexual approaches or behaving indecently

>> Read the rest of this article on Queensland Government website, which includes some helpful resources

Numbers of Indigenous children in state care a national disgrace, SNAICC says

The growing number of Indigenous children being put into government care is a national disgrace, a group representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families says.

Figures indicate one third of children in care are from Aboriginal backgrounds, which the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) says risks creating another Stolen Generation.

A forum held today in Adelaide has looked at the issue of Indigenous children in care.

Sharron Williams of the SNAICC told delegates something must change.

“It’s a national disgrace when we allow for Aboriginal children, all children, to come into care at such high levels,” she said.

>> Read the rest of this article on the ABC news website here

Addressing women’s victimisation histories in custodial settings

The profile of women in prison

The rate at which women are being incarcerated in Australia has increased dramatically in the last 20 years (Baldry, 2008; Mitchell, 2005). Reviewing data collected between 1995 and 2002, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) calculated that the female imprisonment rate had more than doubled (58%) over those seven years. One quarter of those women were on remand.1 In 2010, the ABS reported that the last 10 years (1999-2009) had seen an increase of 60% in the female prison population. Between the 2009 and 2010 Prisoner Censuses, the number of female prisoners increased by 5% (ABS, 2010). In short, there has been a significant increase in the number of women in Australian prisons since 1995, a situation that is not unique to Australia. Internationally, the rate of female imprisonment is also increasing (Corston, 2007; Gelsthorpe, 2010; Martin, Kautt, & Gelsthorpe, 2009).

Sentencing outcomes

A report on the gender differences in sentencing outcomes by the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council (2010) indicates that “data from higher courts show both an increase in the proportion of women being sentenced to imprisonment and an increase in the average length of imprisonment terms” for women (Sentencing Advisory Council, 2010).

>> Read more on the Australian Government Australian Institute of Family Studies Sexual Violence Research website.