Elder Abuse is Wrong: How Do I Report Abuse?

All of us have a role to play in stopping elder abuse. We need to be alert to the signs and signals of abuse. Friends, family and professionals all need to do their part.

Going to the police

Call the police if a family member or caregiver physically or sexually assaults you, threatens to assault you, or commits a financial crime against you. The police will come to help. Many police officers are trained to deal with abuse in families or relationship situations. Some have special training to deal with elder abuse.

They can take you to a hospital if you need treatment. Or they can help you leave the situation safely.

The police may arrest the person who abused you if they believe that person has broken the law. If this happens, your abuser might stay in jail for a few hours before a bail hearing. It's possible that they might stay longer, if the judge decides that would be better.

Signs and Signals of Abuse

Do you suspect someone you know is being abused? Watch for:

  • Signs of bruises, cuts, burns, sprains or broken bones
  • Frequent "accidents"
  • Quiet or withdrawn behaviour
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Short of cash or difficulty in paying for things

These situations can have other causes, but they may be signs that someone is experiencing abuse.

For more information on what a crime victim needs to know about the criminal justice system, see the publications of the Policy Centre for Victim Issues.

If you are afraid for your safety, ask the police or victim services to let you know before the person is let go. Be sure the police know how to contact you.