15 June 2018
Elder abuse comes out of the shadows with a forceful campaign in the Daily Express
Elder abuse is one of the most complex issues we work on to make clearer for people. Perpetrators are most like to be close family and friends. And it’s bound up with deep societal problems of poverty, support for carers and devaluing of caring professions.
We’ve helped our client Action on Elder Abuse cut through the complexities shrouding its mission with one core proposition: make crimes against older people an aggravated offence.
Over the past two years our campaigning has garnered coverage for Action on Elder Abuse in everything from the Times to Panorama. And it has helped AEA gain a foot in the door with everyone from regional Police and Crime Commissioners to decision-makers at the Home Office.
Ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15th June), Express news reporter Giles Sheldrick joined forces with us in by launching a badged campaign of his own in their paper, focussing on justice for older people. The paper’s reach with our demographic target of the ‘sandwich generation’ and older people themselves has been a massive boon to our campaign to make elder abuse an aggravated offence. The Express has even gone a step further and launched its own campaign for the introduction of a Minister for Older People in Parliament.
There are several reasons why the Express – and we similarly – believe these measures should implemented. When older people are victims of crime, they are normally targeted because of their specific vulnerabilities, which make them easy to victimise. They may, for example, be unable to speak out about physical abuse because they have dementia or be more likely to try to turn a blind eye to a family member stealing from them because they are worried about becoming lonely. Similarly, when a crime is committed against an older person, it often has much more of a negative impact than it might do if the same crime was carried out against someone younger. Even relatively minor crimes can trigger sometimes terminal decline when carried out against someone in this demographic.
Despite our vigorous campaigning, awareness of these issues is nowhere near where it could be. We have a long way to go, but we’re glad that through our work with Action on Elder Abuse and supportive publications like the Daily Express, we’re helping bring this problem out of the shadows and making clear what our lawmakers need to do to protect our older people.
Click here to sign AEA’s petition to make elder abuse an aggravated offence on Change.org
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