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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, this Monday 15 June, aims to highlight elder abuse as the worst manifestation of ageism and inequality in our community. 

Elder abuse is a form of family violence that is unacceptable and should be called out. 

Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person, and is carried out by someone they know and trust. Abuse can be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual, and can include mistreatment and neglect. 

Rates of elder abuse are under reported, but the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14 per cent of older people in Australia are affected.

Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older. At its extreme, ageism contributes to elder abuse.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day raises awareness about ageism, challenges stereotypes of older people, and encourages people to speak up and take action.

For more information visit Older People, Equity, Respect and Ageing (OPERA).

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing elder abuse, call the National Elder Abuse Hotline on 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374). In an emergency, call 000.