Maple Ridge City Hall will be awash in purple light on June 15 to shine a light on the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and around the world.
Pitt Meadows will also be behind the campaign by displaying World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, WEAAD, posters on its digital reader board signs.
According to the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie, Seniors Network, around 10 per cent of all senior adults will experience some form of abuse – whether that be physical, emotional, financial, or sexual. It believed the abuse of seniors is significantly under reported, the network notes, adding many seniors will suffer in silence, fear, or shame.
The United Nations General Assembly designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, WEAAD, in 2006.
In its declaration, The United Nations stated this important day “represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has made a bad situation, worse. With more seniors socially isolated over the past year, combined with the additional stress of pandemic health orders and guidelines – abuse incidents have gone up, transition house and shelter usage have gone up, crisis line calls have gone up, and domestic violence is also on the rise.
The Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie, Community Response Network, CRN, along with its host agency, The Seniors Network, and community stakeholders have come together to offer education and raise awareness about the supports available to older adults who may be experiencing abuse in any form.
They are encouraging everyone to wear the colour purple on June 15 – the colour of the iris, the international symbol for WEAAD – to acknowledge support of the campaign.
“At this time, more than ever, we all need to help keep our elders and community members safe and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Judith Macrae, chair of the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie, Community Response Network.
Anyone facing an abusive situation can contact Fraser Health at 1-877-REACT-08, or, 1-877-732-2808, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any contact will be kept completely confidential.
Victims can also call the Seniors First BC, Seniors Abuse and Information Line at 604-437-1940. This line is open Monday- Friday from 8-8 p.m., except for statutory holidays. TTY Teletype phone is 604-428-3359. Language interpretation services are available.
For more information about the Community Response Network and Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie, Seniors Network, call 604-786-7404, email: email@example.com or visit: seniors-network.ca.
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