Victorians urged to ‘call out’ elder abuse in new multicultural campaign focus

Many older Victorians come from non-English speaking countries, that's why Respect Victoria has translated resources from the Respect Older People: Call It Out campaign.

Following the launch of Respect Victoria’s June/July 2019 campaign, Respect Older People: ‘Call It Out’, a second campaign phase focusing on tailored materials for Victorians from multicultural backgrounds will commence this Sunday 20 October.

Respect Victoria will be introducing a series of advertisements aimed at older non-English speaking Victorians, as well as friends and family that may witness the early signs of elder abuse occurring. Supporting the campaign is a series of materials available in five languages – Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. 

Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams said people from diverse communities faced additional challenges in identifying and responding to elder abuse.

“Language barriers can mean people from culturally diverse communities who are experiencing elder abuse can struggle to identify and communicate their needs” she said. “This campaign highlights a form of family violence and abuse that has been ignored and unrecognised for too long – it’s time to respect older people and call it out.”

Respect Victoria’s Chair, Melanie Eagle said “Isolation and increased vulnerability to elder abuse may in some instances be a consequence of not being fluent in English, exacerbated by the loss of informal support networks associated with migration. Cultural traditions as well as a desire to keep private matters within the family may also be barriers to seeking help in dealing with elder abuse. Raising awareness of elder abuse and available service responses in a variety of languages and media is needed, which is the aim of this campaign”.  

“Following the success of Respect Victoria’s Respect Women: ‘Call It Out’ (Public Transport) campaign launched in April 2019 and the first phase of Respect Older People: ‘Call It Out’ launched in June 2019, this campaign aims to create a social stigma around elder abuse to prevent it from happening in the first place. If early behaviours become normalised, we know that elder abuse, like other forms of family violence, can rapidly escalate and lead to a higher prevalence of violence towards older people,” Respect Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Tracey Gaudry said.

The campaign runs from Sunday 20 October and includes a mix of advertising across regional and metropolitan outdoor sites, doctor surgeries and medical centres, radio, digital advertising across social media, online advertising and regional and metropolitan press. The campaign will be supported by a series of translated print materials to be distributed to senior services, non-government organisations, councils, libraries and hospitals to raise awareness of elder abuse among their clients and connect them to the range of support services across the state.