Victims of Sexual Abuse in Aged Care
Reports of sexual abuse against aged care residents exceeded a staggering 500 in the last 3 months of 2021. Concerned that not all victims report their abuse, CEO of OPAN Craig Gear has announced the Ready to Listen project. This project will provide aged care providers with the necessary training to listen and respond effectively to reports of sexual abuse.
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC, ALARM President said: “This is a remarkable project. Anything that reduces the suffering of residents of aged care homes must be applauded. But it’s not enough. Victims need to speak up so that appropriate changes are made to protect present and future residents of aged care homes. I encourage anybody who has been a victim of this abuse to contact ALARM. We will direct you to a lawyer who can advise you on what can be done to stop any ongoing abhorrent behaviour and how to hold those responsible accountable.”
ALARM (Aged-Care Legal Advocacy and Reform Matter) is a not-for-profit charity created to educate aged care residents and their families and friends on their rights and to ensure that they have access to legal assistance and information. ALARM can connect aged care residents and their families to lawyers with aged care expertise. Arrangements will be made to ensure that those who cannot afford lawyers will have access to legal advice. “Nobody should be left behind because they couldn’t afford a lawyer,” said Dr Keon-Cohen.
“I created ALARM because it was clear that residents either aren’t aware of their rights or are too scared to do anything about their mistreatment and neglect. For example, someone who believes they have been abused or neglected can understandably be scared to speak up because they are living at the mercy of those neglecting or mistreating them. That is simply not acceptable in 2022.”
If you are experiencing abuse or neglect in an aged care facility or know someone who is, you can contact ALARM for legal support and information.