Preventing elder abuse

Elder abuse prevention networks

Eight elder abuse prevention networks deliver local action to raise awareness of elder abuse and prevent it from happening using a primary prevention approach.

The networks are membership-based. They include community groups, organisations or businesses that work with or provide services to older people and others.

The networks are led by:

  • Ballarat Community Health ph: 03 5338 4500
  • Barwon Community Legal Service ph: 1300 430 599
  • Better Place Australia ph: 1800 639 523
  • Eastern Community Legal Centre ph: 1300 325 200
  • Merri Health (operate two networks – Northern and Western Metropolitan Melbourne) ph: 1300 637 744
  • Mpower Warrnambool ph: 03 5561 8111
  • Peninsula Health ph: 03 9784 7777.

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

The Victorian Government funds the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) to work in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria to raise community awareness of elder abuse in multicultural communities.

In October 2014, ECCV launched Within My Walls, a community education short film on elder abuse, available in 14 languages. For more information, visit Elder abuse prevention in ethnic communities.

Awareness raising

The Victorian Government is raising awareness of elder abuse as an unacceptable form of family violence through diverse mediums.

Respect Victoria leads the awareness raising campaigns, including authentic stories. Access to this material is available via the Respect Victoria website

The campaigns aim to create awareness around elder abuse to:

  • prevent it from happening in the first place
  • educate the public on where and how it starts.

Through these campaigns, Respect Victoria encourages healthy discussions around attitudes of ageism and entitlement that often underpin elder abuse.

‘Authentic Story’ features Helen and Ollie, Helen's grandson. They share how they stay connected and the mutual respect that their relationship is built on.

The community must have a clear understanding of the rights of older people and how those rights can be protected. This includes knowing the signs of elder abuse and where to go for advice and support.

This campaign urges those in contact with older people to speak up when early signs of elder abuse are noticed to stop elder abuse from escalating.

Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention

Gerard Mansour was the inaugural Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention. He served in this role from 2013 to 2023. 

The Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention raised awareness of preventing elder abuse among senior Victorians. The role also provided information on prevention and protective measures such as powers of attorney. 

The role of the Commissioner for Senior Victorians will not be reappointed. The department will continue the former Commissioner’s work.

Your Voice – Trust Your Choice

The then Department of Health and Human Services funded the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) to work in partnership with Gerard Mansour, the former Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention, in developing a booklet for older people, Your Voice – Trust Your Choice.

This booklet was published in June 2017 and includes:

  • helpful tips
  • case studies
  • sample wording to assist in thinking about and making enduring powers of attorney.

For more information, see Your Voice – Trust Your Choice on the OPA website.

See also the booklet, Take Control, on the OPA website, to be read with Your Voice – Trust Your Choice.