Saturday, 24 November 2018

Our Collective Responsibility

"Elder abuse remains a taboo in many societies. It often happens inconspicuously and in many cases goes unnoticed, but we know that it occurs frequently and in all types of settings. No community or country in the world is immune.

I condemn elder abuse wherever and whenever it happens, but I am particularly appalled that older persons are often at risk from members of their own family.
We must not close our eyes to the fate of older persons, even though it is difficult to accept that our families are not always a safe haven. (...)
Elder abuse takes many different forms. Some people suffer discrimination in the public sphere, linguistic discrimination, isolation, neglect and financial exploitation. Others face psychological violence, the withholding of basic needs, physical violence or sexual abuse. (...)
This all adds to the weight of our collective responsibility to act, and to speak up for older persons when they are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves. All of us can and must be prepared to be advocates for older people, if this abuse is ever to be halted.
We also need to be aware that collective prejudice against older persons and public awareness influences the way in which abuse and violence is perceived, recognized and reported. (...)
Elder abuse is a specific, distinct and deeply disturbing form of abuse. We must all play our part in tackling it and restoring full human rights and human dignity to all those affected, or who face being at risk in the future."
Rosa Kornfel-Matte

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photograph by Vivian Maier via