Release date: Mon 14 August 2017
Last updated: Mon 27 August 2018
Elder abuse is any act by a family member, or within a relationship of trust, which results in harm to an older person.
It can be emotional, psychological, financial, physical or sexual abuse, and/or neglect.
Elder abuse is often a form of family violence, because the person harming the older person is a family member, or is trusted like a family member by the older person.
Too often elder abuse is hidden, because victims are reluctant to disclose the abuse they suffer due to being dependent on, ashamed of, or trying to protect their abusive family member or partner.
Examples of elder abuse
Some examples of elder abuse are:
Some abuse of older people is not family violence, for example when abuse or violence is perpetrated by a stranger.
Any abuse of an older person should be reported. Victoria Police and State Trustees talk about elder abuse
How police will help
Victoria Police will act to protect victims of elder abuse, this may be by:
Victoria Police is here to help.
If you are unsure what to do, or are reluctant to contact police about a loved one, there are non-government community services which can provide more information, advice and support at the bottom of this page.
In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
If English is not your first language, call Triple Zero (000) tell them your language, they will organise an interpreter. Stay on the line.
If you are deaf, have a hearing impairment or have difficulty being understood verbally, the National Relay Service can assist with an emergency call.
You can click the orange button at the top or bottom of each page to go to the National Relay Service home page or see their emergency call page for more information.
More information and support on Elder Abuse
For more information see