EU day for victims of crime: ‘All victims recognised, no victim forgotten’

Sunday 22 February marks European Day for Victims of Crime. On that occasion, several NGOs joined forces with Victim Support Europe to remind Member States of the importance of supporting victims, and of their responsibilities in that regards. They, in particular, should all implement the European Directive on Victims’ rights by November this year. The statement is supported by 30 EU-wide and national organisations. AGE would like to use this opportunity to remind that the Directive should apply to all, regardless of age or the need for care.

  • Read the joint statement here and in pdf here
  • Each organisation highlighted in addition specific aspects of victims support, the spotlight on specific groups is available here.

AGE Platform Europe would like in particular to recall that violence against older persons is a wide phenomenon, despite the lack of statistics on its extent.

In 2011, WHO regional office for Europe reported that “the prevalence of elder maltreatment in the community is high (about 3%) and it may be as high as 25% for older people with high support needs”. On the occasion of this European Day for Victims of crime, AGE Platform Europe recalls that violence against older persons is a wide phenomenon, despite the lack of statistics on the extent of the phenomenon.

Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.Although elder abuse has important and profound consequences, only a small proportion of victims presently talks about or reports the abuse. Moreover, estimations show that elder abuse is underreported by as much as 80% (WHO 2008). Older victims are facing obstacles in accessing adequate victim support services. They themselves lack information and (self) recognition of their rights as citizens and as victims. Some older victims may also have limited mobility preventing them from going and asking for support from organisations due to functional and/or cognitive impairment, whilst at the same time being at the greatest risk of violence.

AGE would like to call on each Member State to make sure that the Victims’ Directive also applies to older people. The Directive should be implemented so that victims receive an equal access to assistance services regardless of their age or their need for care. Implementation measures should acknowledge the specificities of elder abuse and adapt victim support services accordingly .

Contact person: Maude Luherne

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