The Catalan organisation FATEC was one of the partners of a well attended debate held in Barcelona on 3rd May 2016 on 'Elder abuse: a hidden reality calling for (approriate) responses'. The event examined the current situation of elder abuse in Catalunya and discussed possible actions to effectively tackle the issue.
Recognized as one of the most hidden and ignored forms of violence by the World Health Organization (WHO), elder abuse is a rising phenomenon in Catalunya and worldwide. To address this, it is essential to clearly identify the issue, its causes and consequences to be able to take both preventive and protective measures. Focusing on prevention, awareness raising and protection of older people's rights are key.
In Catalunya, there is not specific legislation against elder abuse, but other existing legal instruments may be referred to for prevention, protection or penalty measures. The need for specific rules against elder abuse is subject to debate and controversy, and may reveal a lack of values in our societies.
During the event, Catalan social organisations called for "specific services and resources" for the protection of older victims of abuse. The results of a survey carried out by Mr. Jordi Muñoz, lawyer, were also presented, together with 10 proposals for actions to address elder abuse. Those include policies to educate and sensitize young people or providing housing for older victims of violence by their relatives or caregivers.
An article on the event published in the Spanish newspaper el Periodico can be read here (in Spanish).