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Warm Safe Home project raises awareness of elder abuse

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In many cultures, the home is key to our sense of safety. However, in elder abuse situations, the home can become a place of danger. Latrobe City Council, through its Living Well Latrobe initiative, is supporting the Warm Safe Home Project that uses art-making to start conversations about elder abuse.

Latrobe City Council Mayor, Councillor Dan Clancey, said elder abuse can go unnoticed because of shame or fear.

“Sadly, one in ten older people experience elder abuse. The abuse is often perpetrated by family members or friends, even care-givers and other professionals, and can range from financial or emotional to physical or sexual. It’s an insidious form of violence that leaves the victim feeling particularly vulnerable in their own home,” Cr Clancey said. 

“We know that the rates of abuse have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic and with Elder Abuse Awareness Day taking place on 15 June, this is a perfect time to raise the community’s understanding of this issue. The Warm Safe Home project allows the wider community to start the sometimes difficult conversation about elder abuse.

“This project is a creative conversation starter, a way to acknowledge that abuse is happening in our midst and to encourage people to talk about it openly. Everyone has the right to live free from violence but there may be a generational taboo around sharing this kind of personal and painful information or seeking help.”

The Warm Safe Home project encourages you to write a positive message in response to prescribed questions around what being safe at home means, and then to design a cardboard house for display.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the beautiful designs our community comes up with. Your cardboard houses can be displayed at your own home or in our libraries. And we know that they will be filled with love and heartfelt messages of support that can kick-start an important awareness campaign to find ways to reduce the impact of this terrible form of abuse,” Cr Clancey said.

To find out more about the project, visit www.latrobe.vic.gov.au and download an information flyer and template.

The Warm Safe Home Project was designed by the South West Victoria Elder Abuse Prevention Network, coordinated by South West Carer and Respite Services Network.

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