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Darwin Community Legal Service

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The Seniors and Disability Rights Service operating within Darwin Community Legal Services has received 12 months of funding from the Office of Senior Territorians to minimise elder abuse in our communities.

We are doing this by raising community awareness around the issue and providing advocacy and legal assistance to people suffering from elder abuse.

Elder abuse is defined as;

‘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.’

The most reported form of abuse is financial abuse. Other types of abuse include;

  • physical abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • neglect
  • sexual abuse

Abuse can be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

Our team is researching the prevalence of elder abuse by meeting with community members and carers to learn more about;

  • the impacts of elder abuse
  • the effectiveness of current responses
  • to discuss solutions to this hidden problem

The mistreatment of older people occurs in all communities and ethnic groups. The abuser is often a family member, carer, neighbour or friend.

Victims may be dependent upon the abuser for care or services and may be reluctant to complain due to fear of retribution or loss of services.

Every abuse situation is different, and often talking with someone outside the situation can help.

Darwin Community Legal Service operates the Elder Abuse Information Line to assist elderly people suffering from abuse, making referrals to support organisations and providing legal information to people wanting to make informed choices about their situation.

The Elder Abuse Information Line is available from 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday and is free to call from landlines and public phones. If you are calling from a mobile phone, please let us know and we can call you back.

CALL 1800 037 072

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