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Belize observes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2021. 11:25 am CST.

By Zoila Palma: Today is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The day is set aside to raise awareness of the different types of elder abuse that exist, how they are identified and how they can be addressed.

 In 2020 approximately 4.37% of all domestic violence cases reported were crimes against older men and women.

It is estimated that only 1 out of every 24 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities.

 The perpetrators of elder abuse are often family members, caregivers, or trusted friends. Elder Abuse is considered silent epidemic as older persons often refuse to admit that their loved ones have mistreated them and due to physical frailty or dependence are unable to leave abusive situations.

The Ministry of Human Development notes that in Belize the most common forms of elder abuse include financial abuse, isolation and neglect.

“Older people remain vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing measures. We must find ways to ensure the continuous inclusion of older persons in our society through promoting digital literacy, priority services and making a conscious effort to listen to their voices,” the ministry said.

The Ministry urges all Belizeans to ensure the equal and decent treatment of all older persons and end elder abuse.

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