Office for Seniors announces grants for elder abuse prevention


Thu 10 Feb 2022

The Office for Seniors has launched a new elder abuse prevention fund.

The new Elder Abuse Prevention Fund is accepting applications for grants to fund projects that focus on violence prevention among older people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The closing date for applications is 1 April 2022.

Announcing the new Elder Abuse Prevention Fund, the Office for Seniors |Te Tari Kaumātua said the fund offers one-off grants. Groups can apply for up to $25,000 for projects focused on violence prevention for older people (65 years and older). The Office for Seniors website notes that priority will be given to projects and initiatives that:

  • "show collaboration with other organisations and community groups
  • include diverse communities within the older population (65+) including Māori, Pacific, ethnic, rainbow, and disabled communities."

See the Office for Seniors for more information including eligibility criteria and the application. It is recommended to contact the Officer for Seniors first to discuss your project. You can email them at ofs@msd.govt.nz.

Update: The government has announced the 11 new projects funded from the Elder Abuse Prevention Fund. See the full list of new projects at Te Kari Kaumātua | Officer for Seniors

Related news

In 2021 the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Claudia Mahler, submitted a report on the Human rights of older women: the intersection between ageing and gender. In the section on violence, abuse and neglect, she noted there is insufficient understanding and research on "How the intersection between age and gender compounds and affects risk factors, types of perpetrators, forms and impacts of violence, abuse and neglect." She further noted it is important for laws, policies and awareness-raising campaigns on elder abuse to integrate a gender perspective and consider "...the specific risks and disadvantages faced by women in older age."

She identified specific considerations of the intersection of age and gender in intimate partner violence and sexual violence stating:

"52. Intimate partner violence in later age is often a continuation of abuse lasting many years or even decades. The power and control dynamics in such abusive relationships are also likely to be exacerbated with age owing to accumulated inequalities or new age-related care needs. These elements can result in greater risk of harm and escalation of violence and abuse.

53. Sexual violence against older women has long been hidden because of pervasive taboos and stereotypes and is believed to be significantly underreported. The limited studies on the topic show that the perpetrators are predominantly men, most commonly an intimate partner, a family member or a caregiver. Older women with cognitive impairments or physical care needs appear to be particularly at risk, while their ability to express consent and resist coercion can be more limited. The consequences of sexual violence against older women are often devastating and include serious bodily injury, severe emotional trauma, long-term health problems, loss of independence, moving to a care facility and accelerated death."

She made a number of recommendations for states including:

"(l) Undertake and support more extensive data collection, research and analysis on older women’s experiences of violence, abuse and neglect, including on motivations, circumstances, risk factors and other elements, in order to develop evidence-based prevention and protection measures; ensure that policies, measures and campaigns on violence against women consider the particular vulnerabilities, risks, protection needs and barriers to reporting and access to justice faced by older women; and develop coordinated prevention and response procedures as well as ensure appropriate training for social and care workers and law enforcement personnel to protect and support older women at risk of violence and abuse."

Related media

Busy year ahead for NZ’s first aged care commissioner, Newsroom, 17.02.2022

First Aged Care Commissioner appointed, Beehive media release, 14.02.2022

New fund to raise awareness around elder abuse across diverse communities, Tagata Pasifika, 09.02.2022

Office for Seniors announces new fund to help prevent elder abuse in NZ, Stuff, 02.02.2022

Action to Protect Older Women’s Rights Has Stalled in the UN General Assembly, PassBlue, 23.11.2021

Better Later Life Action Plan launched, Beehive media release, 30.09.2021

Image: Kevin Bidwell from Pexels

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