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AM backs Age Cymru’s Rule Out Abuse campaign

March 5, 2012 12:52 PM
Originally published by Peter Black and South Wales West Liberal Democrats

Peter Black supporting the rule out abuse campaignSouth Wales West Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, Peter Black has given his support to Age Cymru's 'Rule Out Abuse' campaign, which calls on the Welsh Government to introduce new legislation to strengthen support and protection for victims of elder abuse.

An estimated 39,000 older people in Wales suffer abuse in their own homes with that abuse taking many forms including physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

Currently there is no legal obligation on public authorities to investigate when concerns are raised that an adult is at risk of being abused.

To show his support Mr. Black has signed the "Rule Out Abuse" charter which lays out ten changes that need to be made to better support and protect vulnerable adults in Wales.

Mr. Black said: "We need urgent action to protect some of society's most vulnerable people from harm. This is why I am backing Age Cymru's campaign and have signed the 'Rule Out Abuse' charter."

"It is concerning that Wales has the highest rate of elder abuse in the UK and I am committed to working with Age Cymru and other organisations to tackle this problem head on.

Abuse can happen anywhere and is most often carried out by people in a position of trust."

The Rule Out Abuse campaign has been developed by Age Cymru following extensive research into ways of tackling elder abuse and consultation with adult protection experts.

The campaign identifies a range of actions which should be taken to better protect adults at risk by increasing awareness and strengthening adult protection processes, so that tackling abuse is given the priority it deserves.

Victoria Lloyd Age Cymru's Director of Influencing says:

"Age Cymru is delighted that Peter Black has given his support to the campaign.

"We believe that a clear legislative framework, outlining legal duties for key agencies to tackle abuse, would ensure that individuals are adequately supported through the adult protection processes and that each agency brings their specific expertise to stop incidents of abuse.

"This is why Age Cymru feels that introducing a legal obligation to investigate suspected cases of abuse would be a significant step forward in ruling out elder abuse in Wales once and for all"

For further information and to sign the Rule Out Abuse charter visit www.agecymru.org.uk/ruleoutabuse

What can legislation do?

  • Age Cymru believes legislation is needed to strengthen powers and duties in this area, to give adult protection a higher priority and to make it a 'must do' for all agencies - including local authorities, health bodies, the Police, care settings and housing providers.
  • There is currently no statutory duty in legislation to investigate concerns of abuse against an adult (there is relation to children).
  • Age Cymru wants legislation to include:
  1. A duty to investigate concerns of abuse
  2. A duty on all agencies to share information and to cooperate fully in investigations
  3. A duty to report concerns of potential abuse.

What does Age Cymru want people to do?

  • We want people and organisations to sign up to support the campaign and to sign our Rule Out Abuse charter
  • We will distributing copies to politicians and key organisations
  • People can view and sign the charter on our website: www.agecymru.org.uk/ruleoutabuse
  • It will be available in local Age Cymru shops and offices.