Stop Adult Abuse Week, an initiative set up by Local Safeguarding Adult Board Communications Groups across the South West, is being supported by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens.
The week (13-16 June) was developed regionally to raise wider awareness of all forms of adult abuse around the time of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which this year is on Wednesday, June 16.
The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Elder abuse is a global social issue affecting the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “Any form of abuse is completely unacceptable and it fills me with sadness to think that this cruelty happens to members of our elderly community. If you think an elderly friend, neighbour or relative is being subjected to such abhorrent behaviour I would encourage you to act now and report it.”
Ms Mountstevens is also using the opportunity to raise awareness of modern slavery and highlighting the impact of abuse on vulnerable adults, who are unable to protect themselves, identify that they are being abused and therefore unable to report it.
Since 2012 there has been a 47% increase in recorded modern slavery in the UK and a third of victims are adult men. In 2014, according to Home Office reports, it was suggested that there could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK alone.
Ms Mountstevens added: “We must put a stop to modern slavery. It is imperative we work together to highlight the problem we have here in the, tackle it and ensure that victims are supported out of a life of trafficking and exploitation.
“I want victims to know that we have some fantastic support services who can help them recover from their experiences. I want offenders to know that modern slavery will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset and we will put an end to this crime.
“Following a successful modern slavery support service pilot in Avon and Somerset, I have awarded a grant to Unseen UK to ensure they can continue the vital specialist support they provide to victims of modern slavery into 2016/17.”
Modern slavery can take many forms including trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery.
For more information about the modern slavery support service funded by the PCC visit www.unseenuk.org/learn-more/frontline-professionals/accessing-rio-services
Throughout the week we will also be sharing information from the five local authority safeguarding adult boards to highlight what they are doing in your area to help prevent elder abuse.
You can support World Elder Abuse Day and find out more about what’s happening by following the hash tag #WEAAD on twitter.
Posted on Monday 13th June 2016