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Addressing older people's experiences of family violence through MARAM

Monday, 17 June 2019 at 7:11 am

Family Safety Victoria is ensuring the experiences of family violence for older people are considered in the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (MARAM).

The MARAM Framework is designed to support workers to understand the risks and assess whether an older person is experiencing elder abuse in their relationships with their family.

It highlights that older people may experience abuse that includes behaviour recognised as family violence and that they may be particularly affected due to the limited recognition of elder abuse and fragmented responses in the service system.

The Framework also stresses that elder abuse is a recognised form of family violence and that there is a higher prevalence of some forms of abuse, including economic or financial abuse.

The Framework risk assessment tools include specific questions for workers to ask older people to help assess whether they may be experiencing family violence, or are at risk of it.

These include questions about all forms of family violence, as well as specific risks for older people including:

  • dependence for care of financial needs
  • control over medication
  • isolation from family or friends
  • threats relating to housing arrangements or relocation to residential care.

Older people’s experiences of family violence are also addressed in the MARAM Framework Practice Guides.

Between September and November 2018, targeted consultations took place with specialist practitioners who work with older people to inform the drafting of the MARAM Practice Guidance.

This guidance describes specific presentations and responses for older people against the evidence-based risk factors. Representatives from Seniors Law – Justice Connect, Victoria Police, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council, and Seniors Rights Victoria were all involved in the consultations.

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