Call for abuse of elderly to be treated as a hate crime

Elderly abuse web

Action on Elder Abuse Scotland has produced a survey which shows the extent of crimes against OAPs

14th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has called for abuse of the elderly to be treated as a hate crime.

Action on Elder Abuse Scotland has commissioned a study which shows that nearly 90,000 Scottish people over 65 have suffered physical, psychological or sexual abuse, or theft.

The survey is based upon responses from younger people about incidents they had heard of, but only 3% of 1,000 older people said they had been abused.

Director Lesley Carcary said: “This poll confirms elder abuse in Scotland is a major issue, and requires radical action if we are to prevent thousands of our loved ones from continuing to suffer appalling treatment.

“The criminal justice system is failing to deter abusers, too many care providers provide neglectful care, and the adult protection process often fails to protect.

“The Scottish Government cannot continue to claim they are doing enough.”

The charity wants abuse of the elderly to be treated in the same way as those targeted because of their gender or race, and said that victims are scared to speak out.

Carcary added: “It is particularly worth noting that relatives and friends are observing much more elder abuse than older people themselves are actually acknowledging.

“This is likely to be because victims are afraid to speak out, are dependent on their abusers, or have just accepted they can do nothing about it.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We will continue to work with older people and their organisations to promote and protect equality and the human rights of older people, and ensure their quality of life continues to improve.

“Abuse of older people is both shocking and totally unacceptable. Like anyone else, our older citizens have the right to live safely and with dignity.”