F5.2 Familial Abuse and Psychosocial Risk Factors in Older People from ATSI and CALD Backgrounds


Anna Gillbard
Thursday 19 May 2022

Time: 9:00am – 9:30am

Room: Balcony Room 3 & 4

F5.2: Ageing

Familial Abuse and Psychosocial Risk Factors in Older People from ATSI and CALD Backgrounds


Elder abuse is increasingly being recognised as an issue affecting people throughout Australia and the rest of the world. Elder abuse is defined as abuse which occurs within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust (World Health Organisation, 2002). For the purposes of this presentation, trust relationships include those involving family and extended family members or those who ‘act as family’ such as close friends or others that the older person may regard as family. It is not age itself that increases the risk of abuse but a multitude of individual, relational, community and societal factors which intersect to increase the vulnerability of older people and consequently, their risk of experiencing abuse. People from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds may have additional psychosocial factors which increase their vulnerability to abuse. Data collected by an elder abuse helpline in Queensland was analysed to compare the types of abuse and risk factors of alleged victims from ATSI, CALD and Other (non-ATSI or CALD cases) backgrounds. Differences in patterns of abuse and reporting were found. Rates of trauma, level of English, income and wealth were found to differ as a function of ethnicity group. Between-group differences were also observed for alleged perpetrators with regards to age, income, wealth, substance abuse and trigger factors for the abuse. Developing a better understanding of risk factors for ATSI and CALD victims and the alleged perpetrators can help to provide information to provide more targeted responses for both awareness raising activities and intervention strategies.

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Anna has spent five years developing a research program at the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, leading the development of five Year in Review data analysis reports, conducted numerous discrete research projects and overseen the re-design of EAPUs research database. Anna is also a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland.