Additional information for victim-survivors of elder abuse

What is elder abuse?

Some older people may experience domestic and family violence or abuse from a partner, carer, child, or other family member. The abuse can be physical, e.g. when someone slaps or hits you. The abuse can also be emotional, financial, sexual, psychological or social. Elder abuse can include someone:

  • calling you names, shouting at you, and threatening you
  • pressuring you to give them money or your belongings or assets
  • forcing you to sign things you don’t understand
  • controlling your movements, or not letting you see your friends or family members
  • who is meant to take care of you not doing their job, e.g. not providing you with food or clean clothing.

What should I do if I feel unsafe?

It can be difficult to talk about these things, especially if it involves your children, carers or other family members, but you have a right to feel safe.

If you are concerned about violence or abuse in your relationship, there are services available to help you.

If you feel unsafe, contact NSW Police. They are there to help. Aged Crime Prevention Officers (ACPO) are available in some locations. They are specialist police officers trained in issues relating to elder abuse.

If you seek assistance from police and they identify that you may be experiencing domestic and family violence, they will refer you to Safer Pathway.

More information about support services can be found under 'Where can I get more information and support?'

What is Safer Pathway?

Safer Pathway is a NSW Government program that supports victim-survivors of domestic and family violence across NSW.

Within Safer Pathway, relevant government and non-government agencies work together to identify people experiencing domestic and family violence, and to offer them support to improve their safety.

More information about Safer Pathway.

How can Safer Pathway help me?

A Safer Pathway support worker can give you information and put you in touch with services that can help you. This might include a referral to a lawyer, for legal assistance with your will, or with power of attorney.

Some abusive behaviour, such as physical abuse, is a crime. The Safer Pathway support worker can talk to you about what will happen if you make a statement to police and can give you information about Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders. These are court orders designed to protect you from further harm.

Where can I get more information and support?

You can find more resources on domestic and family violence and older people here.

If you do not feel comfortable reporting to police, there are other ways to get help:

  • Talk to someone you trust, like a friend or family member
  • Talk with a health worker, they can help you to access support
  • You can call the NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221.

If you would like to contact Safer Pathway directly:

For female victim-survivors, contact your nearest Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) on 1800 938 227

For male victim-survivors, please email and you will be connected to your local Safer Pathway support service for men.

Last updated:

19 Nov 2021

We will use your rating to help improve the site.
This field is required
Please don't include personal or financial information here
This field is required
Please don't include personal or financial information here

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

Top Return to top of page Top