Elder Abuse Helpline
1800 ELDERHelp
(1800 353 374)
Elder Abuse Action Australia

Attorney-General's WEAAD statement

Attorney-General The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP issued this statement ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on 15 June 2024:

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an important opportunity to stand together against the abuse, mistreatment and neglect of older people.

All older people should have their rights upheld and live free from abuse. Sadly, we know that this is an issue affecting too many older Australians, and one which is too often suffered in silence.

We know that when elder abuse occurs it is often hidden, and can be physical, psychological, sexual, financial or another form of mistreatment. The National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 15% of those aged 65 years and over living in the community have experienced at least one recognised form of elder abuse over the previous 12 months.

Calls to the national 1800 ELDERHelp phoneline are increasing, along with visits to Compass.info, the national knowledge hub administered by Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA).

While elder abuse might occur hidden from view, we all have a responsibility to combat it.

The Australian Government is committed to combatting elder abuse in all its forms.

Compass.info and the 1800ELDERHelp phone line will be featured in the Government’s upcoming national awareness raising campaign. These are important Australian Government initiatives and it is encouraging that more people are reaching out for information, assistance and support.

The Government is working closely with states and territories to progress the development of a second National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians, the key framework for building understanding and awareness of elder abuse, and strengthening service responses and safeguards for vulnerable older people.

Importantly, this work is being informed by diverse experiences and testimonies from across Australia, including older people with lived and living experience of abuse, and from those assisting in frontline services.  

The Government is a major sponsor of the Australian Elder Abuse Conference, hosted by EAAA and the Aged Rights Advocacy Service, to be held 22-24 July. The Conference is another important opportunity to shine a light on this issue, and to bring together partners from across our community who are working to better understand, respond and end the abuse of older people. 

Together we can achieve a society where older people are safe, cared for, respected and empowered.

If you experience, witness or suspect elder abuse, you can call the National Elder Abuse phoneline 1800ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) for free and confidential information, support and referrals. You can also visit www.compass.info for further information and resources.

Download the full statement.