Elder Abuse

WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE:

Abuse is any act or failure to act, within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, that jeopardizes the health or well-being of an older person.  Neglect is any inaction, either intended or unintended within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, that causes harm to an older person. 

 Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or material abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

Most elder abuse is committed by a family member; a son or daughter, spouse, grandchild, or other relative.  However, elder abuse may also come from a neighbour, friend, paid caregiver, or a volunteer, and can happen at home or in institutions.

REASONS WHY ABUSE IS SELDOM REPORTED:

Elder abuse is seldom identified and rarely reported to police. For this reason, it is referred to as a "hidden crime." Victims may not report incidents of abuse because:

> They feel betrayed by the abuser, and feel ashamed of their mistreatment by family members or loved ones.
> They feel embarrassment that they are in the position of being a victim.
> They believe the police or other agencies can't or won't help.
> They are afraid of being institutionalized.
> They are unaware of their rights.
> They are afraid of what will happen to the loved one abusing them, or what will happen to them once the person who had power over their finances or other aspects of their life is gone.
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT ABUSE:

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service will investigate and lay charges where appropriate against abusers.  Victims are offered and provided with counselling and assistance. By reporting abuse, you are combating the problem.  An awareness of these crime prevention pointers together with your own common sense, can help safeguard you or a loved one from harm.

Be aware of services available in your area and take advantage of the services you need.

www.211OntarioNorth.ca

Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse 

 

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