Third of Vic seniors sexually assaulted are over 85: crime stats

Many elderly Victorians suffering sexual and other assaults are living in nursing homes

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CRIME STATISTICS: Older people likely to know the person who assaults them.

CRIME STATISTICS: Older people likely to know the person who assaults them.

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Victorian crime statistics paint damning picture of crimes against older people.

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MORE than a third of all Victorian seniors sexually assaulted over the past 10 years were over 85 years, new crime data has shown.

And close to 60 per cent of sexual offences took place at a nursing home or healthcare facility as did nine per cent of assaults.

The shocking revelations comes from research released by the Crime Statistics Agency which also showed that 140,000 crimes were committed against older people (aged over 65) since 2007.

The greatest number of crimes were recorded during 2016 (18,427) with the most commonly recorded crime involving an older person being theft, followed by burglary, property damage, and assault.

Crime Statistics Agency Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said the study found that an older person was more likely to know the perpetrator for crimes against the person compared to property and deception offences.

“Our research found that in close to two-thirds of crimes against the person the victim knew the perpetrator, while this was the case for less than five per cent of property and deception offences.” 

Around one in three assaults against older people were committed by a family member, with the majority being committed by a child against their parent.

Elder abuse

The World Health Organisation defines elder abuse as: “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. 

“Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.”

If you have been sexually abused or believe someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse you can receive 24 hour confidential help from the National Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Counselling Service 1800-737-732 or www.1800respect.org.au. If you are in immediate danger contact the Police on Triple Zero (000).

For more help with elder abuse call the Elder Abuse Helpline in your state. 

Elder Abuse Helplines: 

Qld.    1300-651-192

NSW.  1800-624-221

SA.     1800-724-679

Vic.     1300-368-821

Tas.    1800-441-169 

NT.      1800-037-072

WA.     1300-724-679

 ACT.   02-6205 3535

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