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On the occasion of the European Day for Victims of Crime (on February 22), AGE Platform Europe published a position paper entitled ‘Victims’ rights: let’s not forget the victims of elder abuse!’ in order to call on EU countries and the European Commission to implement in a comprehensive and ambitious way the  2012 European Union Directive on Victims' Rights .

The position paper stresses the importance of using the process of implementation of this Directive to improve the protection of older persons who have suffered abuse, violence and maltreatment. Elder abuse is not a minor or anecdotal phenomenon, but a widespread violation of the human rights and dignity of older persons, especially those in situations of dependency and with care needs. Persistent ageist attitudes, demographic ageing and increasing financial pressures on care systems are very likely to make elder abuse even more prevalent in the near future in Europe.

Given the very high levels of underreporting, there is an urgency to ensure that victim protection mechanisms can become more effective and reflect the realities faced by older persons who are victims of violence, abuse and exploitation. The implementation of the 2012 Directive provides an excellent opportunity in that regard. It can serve as a new platform to facilitate the exchange of information and practices between victim support services, police and court practitioners and older persons and their organisations.

There is a lack of awareness of the potential of the Directive among organisations of older persons, and the professionals responsible for supporting and protecting victims are often unaware of the specificities of elder abuse and how to reach out to victims. AGE’s position paper stresses the need to close this gap.

To access the document, please click here.