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COTA

Coalition’s welcome elder abuse announcement sets stage for multi-partisan new national strategy

Media Release 15th June 2016

Leading seniors advocacy organisation COTA Australia has welcomed the Coalition's policy to protect older Australians from abuse as a great first step toward a fully multi-partisan national strategy for prevention of elder abuse.

COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said "Too many older Australians suffer physical, emotional and financial abuse and it's good to see this often hidden issue being given the public attention it deserves, and highlighted in the election campaign.

"This announcement will lay the groundwork for the development of a fully multi-partisan national strategy that is essential to getting us on the road to ensuring all older Australians are safe from abuse.

"We particularly welcome measures that will quantify the prevalence of abuse in our communities because too often it goes unreported or unnoticed, and we need to understand the scope of the problem to make sure adequate resources are being addressed to prevent and redress it.

"We will welcome the opportunity to have input into the national awareness campaign to educate and to change attitudes and values. Critical to this will be addressing the stigma of ageism, and age discrimination, both of which are all too prevalent and contribute to abuse.

"The national hotline will be a critical tool to make it easier for older people and their families to be heard and to report incidences of abuse.

The Turnbull Government today released its policy to protect the rights of older Australians, including a $15 million investment to develop a national elder abuse hotline; develop pilot training programmes for frontline staff; conduct a study into the prevalence of elder abuse to better understand the problem; and develop a national awareness campaign to educate and to change attitudes and values.

Mr Yates said" "This is a significant announcement by the Coalition and we urge all political parties to match these commitments to demonstrate to all Australians that we have no tolerance for elder abuse."

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774

COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.

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