Report from Serbia
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2011
“My World…Your World… Our World
– Free of Elder Abuse”
On Wednesday, on 15th June 2011, from 12.00 to 14.30, in the Conference Hall of the Red Cross of Serbia, a special panel was held on the occasion of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2011.
The panel called "My World .... Your World ... Our World ... World without Elder Abuse " was organized by the Serbian Red Cross and CSO Network “HumanaS”.
This event and discussion were a continuation of efforts of HumanaS to improve the situation of older people and to reduce discrimination, neglect, abuse and violence against older people.
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The panel was opened by the Secretary General of the Serbian Red Cross, Ms. Vesna Milenovi_, and State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Mr. Zoran Martinovic. The event was used to present the results of recent research carried out by Red Cross and HumanaS and entitled "Violence against the Elderly in the Family Context". The results were presented by the main researcher, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Prof. Nevena Petrusic, (the Research was an activity in the EC IPA project "Older People Civil Society Dialogue in the Western Balkans" implemented in partnership with AGE UK and partners from Albania and BIH).
The study collected and analyzed data related to reported cases of domestic violence against older people in 2010, in police departments in the area of __Nis and Novi Sad, as well as those registered in the social welfare centers in the two cities. The Study included two prosecuted cases of violence against older people and the cases that had a court epilogue. The aim of the Research was to identify problems in the functioning of existing mechanisms of legal protection from domestic violence and providing psychosocial support to victims of violence. Recommendations for efficient functioning of the Institutions in charge of protection of older people will be sent to the relevant ministries.
Dom Pomocy Spolecznej w Tolkmicku Poland
To mark this years World Elder Abuse Awareness Day “June 15th 2011, Elder Protection travelled to the little Polish town of “Tolkmicku” a once thriving fishing port on the North Coast of Poland, a population of around 4000 and approximately 80 kilometres from the city of “Gdansk”.
Elder Protection decided to take a look at the way Poland treats its elderly and vulnerable people to mark the 2011 WEAAD.
In 2011, Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) adopted an ambitious program to
deliver on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. And it was a success -
raising awareness about elder abuse amongst service providers and
agencies, engaging with the community, providing practical learnings to
the legal sector, celebrating the contribution seniors make to the
community and recognising their right to live in safety and dignity. As
well some novelty ways were used to promote WEAAD including banners on a
tourist tram and a WEAAD Quilt.
SRV hosted its 3rd annual full-day WEAAD Workshop for workers in health, aged care, family violence and community sectors. One hundred plus people were in attendance at Victoria University’s City Convention Centre to hear presentations and to workshop case studies on aspects of elder abuse.
On a crisp sunny morning in Bendigo, a small group of people assembled at St Andrews Uniting Church for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) service. So began the community education program for WEAAD on June 15th.
The Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo, Councillor Rod Fyffe, made a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Proclamation at a formal event in the afternoon at Bendigo’s restored Town Hall. The Proclamation recognises the contribution seniors make to the community and their right to live with respect and in safety. This was the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Mayoral Proclamation in Victoria.
On the evening of 14 June 2011 the City of Perth illuminated both Council House and the Bell Tower in purple to raise awareness of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) the following day, 15 June.
The highlight of WEAAD activities in Perth, Western Australia was the launch of the research paper “An Examination of the Extent of Elder Abuse in Western Australia: A Qualitative and Quantitative Investigation of Existing Agency Policy, Service Responses and Recorded Data.” Ninety-six invited guests gathered to witness the launch.
To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2011, the Office of the Public Advocate held a series of information sessions in the South-West of the State during the week of WEAAD. Three of the five sessions were held in Bunbury, Manjimup and Wagin and catered to the needs of community members and service providers.
At another event in Bunbury, a community service agency organised a walk with banners and purple shirts. About 30 people participated. The Mayor of Bunbury read a statement condemning elder abuse and the local paper and radio publicised the event.
2011 has been the biggest yet in regard to publicising WEAAD in Western Australia. Our research report re-opens the topic of elder abuse in Australia where up to date information has been lacking for some time. The report gives guidance on some ways we might begin to address the issue. Western Australia is a huge state, approximately one third of Australia in area, and it is extremely heartening to report that we now have pockets of people promoting WEAAD activities in regional centres and small towns far removed from metropolitan Perth.