World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15 June
The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It is the main day in the year when the world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on older people.
Elder abuse is an often hidden problem and includes psychological, financial, social, physical, and sexual abuse. The definition in use by the World Health Organisation is:
“Elder Abuse is 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”
An increasing number of activities and events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.
WEAAD is an opportunity for individuals, families, groups and organisations to speak out against elder abuse. By doing something purple in June and telling people ‘why’, links into the world-wide elder abuse campaign for WEAAD. Whether it is making a purple cake for morning tea at work, giving purple flowers to an older person, or wearing purple to work – no attempt at raising awareness is too small.
- Organise or promote a purple themed picnic or sausage sizzle in your park.
- Organise and promote a purple themed awareness raising walk.
- Invite a guest speaker to discuss the issue of elder abuse.
- Wear purple to work during the week leading up to the 15th of June.
- Use purple lighting in your community to highlight the issue of elder abuse.
- Create an awareness display in your workplace, school, council, library or shopping centre.
- Use purple balloons at a purple themed morning tea at your workplace.
- Use social networking such as Facebook and Twitter – change your profile picture to purple.
- Include the WEAAD logo and information on your email signature during June.
Resources for elder abuse awareness day community activities
Support in the Northern Territory
- Relationships Australia’s Senior Relationship Services supports older people to feel respected and safe. It offers early intervention support and counselling and facilitates family meetings for seniors and their families.
Relationships Australia NT – 8923 4999 – www.nt.relationships.org.au
- Darwin Community Legal Service operates the Elder Abuse Information Line, which assists seniors and their families with information and referrals to a range of support services.
Darwin Community Legal Service – 8982 1111 or 1800 812 953 (free call) – www.dcls.org.au
- Catholic Care NT in Alice Springs is an Aged Care Advocate that support older people through information about aged care services, rights and responsibilities.
Catholic Care – 8958 2400 – www.catholiccarent.org.au
- COTA NT is the voice of seniors in the Northern Territory and advocates for seniors by promoting seniors’ interests, views and well-being. COTA NT works closely with Relationships Australia, Catholic Care, Darwin Community Legal Service and makes referrals when seniors have a concern about abuse.