Elder abuse is not a new phenomenon but more people are becoming aware of the problem, which is present in the Orange area.
Central West Police District domestic violence liaison officer Senior Constable Granton Smith said there is growing awareness of it in the region.
“Elder abuse is an emerging topic, it’s something that’s gaining a bit more profile,” he said.
Acting crime manager Acting Inspector Justin Hadley said national cases at aged-care homes have helped raise the issue and made it gain momentum.
However, Senior Constable Smith said despite increasing awareness, experts estimate that only one in five cases are reported.
It’s pressure to change wills, isolation from relatives who would support and assist them. It comes down to power and control.Senior Constable Granton Smith
He said perpetrators could include neighbours, family members and carers.
“Elderly people experience domestic violence in different ways, it’s more psychological,” Senior Constable Smith said.
“It’s pressure to change wills, isolation from relatives who would support and assist them. It comes down to power and control.”
He said anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary and who suspects an elderly person is experiencing any type of abuse whether physical, financial or psychological should report it.
He said there is a dedicated elder abuse hotline that people can call on 1800 628 221.
“That really is a topic we will be seeing a lot more about,” Senior Constable Smith said.
According to data compiled by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research there were 1935 people aged over 60 who were the victims of domestic related assault between October 2017 and September 2018.
The victims of the reported assaults included 910 men and 1025 women.
According to the research for victims aged over 60 there were also 500 men and 762 women who were victims of intimidation in that period, 396 men and 450 women had property maliciously damaged, and there were breaches of apprehended domestic violence orders against 426 men and 618 women.
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