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July 19, 2015

Fighting elder abuse in Nunavut will take effort, experts argue (Canada)

Fighting elder abuse in Nunavut will take effort, experts argue


Fighting elder abuse needs the same level of government commitment as suicide prevention and far more attention from everyone in Nunavut, says Arviat's Angie Curley. 
"This problem, elder abuse, is kept private," said Curley. "It's not known by everyone. It's a family problem."
Curley says there is an elder in her community who has been dealing with abuse regularly for years. But so far, no one has been able to make it stop.
"It's frustrating," said Curley. "From my experience, elders don't speak publicly about what they went through. They don't like to have what they went through, the abuse, to be public."
Several years ago, Curley says she contacted the elders support hotline, which provides services for unilingual Inuktitut-speakers, but says no one ever followed up.
"There has to be a better system in place to protect the elders."
Curley says the government can make changes happen fast – as it did with the equally important issue of suicide prevention.

Not all abuse is reported 

Sgt. Yvonne Niego says investigating cases of abuse can be challenging. 
In 2014, Niego says the oldest victim reported to police was an 87-year-old, who was assaulted. Often, elders who are emotionally or physically abused are hesitant to seek help, because the perpetrators are family members.
"But along with that there was alcohol involved and an extended family member was perpetrating."
Abridged
SOURCE:    CBC NEWS (NORTH)
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