Older women are increasingly being sexually abused in residential aged care facilities, and are not being believed.
Perpetrators include care staff and other residents. OWN is working with Dr Catherine Barrett to put the spotlight on this issue and, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 2019, we launched a campaign in Parliament House.
We stand with these women and call for processes to be placed to protect them. It’s not just #MeToo, but also #SheToo.
We invite you to put yourself #InHerShoes, walk with the older women who have been sexually assaulted, and sign the petition to call on the Aged Care Royal Commission to look into this matter seriously so we can protect older women from this horror.
It follows the work of Dr Catherine Barret, founder of Celebrate Ageing, who documented the sexual assault of 94-year-old Margarita Solis in her facility. She bravely decided to speak out and raise awareness of the issue in 2018.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established on 8 October 2018. It presented an opportunity for OWN NSW and Celebrate Ageing to provide submissions to the Royal Commission on the need to take sexual assaults in residential aged care facilities seriously.
In their final report, both Commissioners agreed that the current situation where up to 50 sexual assault cases taking place is a national disgrace.
This paper presents in table format extracts from the Final Report of the Royal Commission outlining where sexual assaults are mentioned. It is hoped that this will assist those researching this issue, as well as advocates, to work towards keeping older women safe in residential aged care facilities
Review of the Serious Incident Response Scheme
OWN NSW and Celebrate Ageing wrote in response to the invitation to provide feedback on the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) for home care. The feedback they provided related to the reporting of sexual assault (unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual contact) through SIRS.
Watch Dr Catherine Barrett (OPAL Institute) in a webinar, discussing how to understand, prevent and respond to the sexual abuse of older women.
The sexual abuse of older women is an often misunderstood and under-reported form of elder abuse. Learn how older women are discriminated against when reporting their assault experiences and how this often prevents them from receiving the help they need.
Catherine was joined by leading advocates Yumi Lee (Older Women’s Network NSW) and Kerrin Bradfield (Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence). The moderator of the webinar was journalist Caroline Baum.