Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and to be provided with appropriate care as they age. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for the unacceptably high number of Australians who are experiencing elder abuse.
What is Elder Abuse?
Any act that causes harm to an elderly person, whether physical, sexual or of any other kind, and that occurs within a relationship of trust, is elder abuse.
Much like other forms of domestic or family violence, elder abuse can be difficult to spot because of the context in which it happens. It can occur anywhere, but it most frequently takes place under the cover of the elderly person’s home or in an aged care facility. It is not perpetrated by strangers but by family members, friends, carers or other trusted persons.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse comes in many different forms including:
A single form of elder abuse may occur in isolation, but elder abuse usually includes several forms of abuse in combination. The forms most commonly exposed in Australia are psychological and financial abuse.
Psychological abuse includes behaviour that seeks to bully, intimidate or humiliate the elderly person. Examples of psychological abuse provided by the World Health Organisation include threatening to send them to an aged care home, withholding affection, denying them access to grandchildren or other loved ones, deliberately isolating them from friends and other support systems and persistently accusing them of having dementia.
Financial abuse has been defined as “the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s property or finances.” Abusers adopt methods that vary from taking advantage of their trusted relationship with the older person, to misusing positions such as Power of Attorney, to outright deceiving or coercing them.
For example, an adult child may force their parent to make changes to their Will, prematurely take control of their finances, steal their identity, incur expenses in their name or sell their property without consent.
You may be entitled to claim compensation. Start the process with our simple and free online tool.
What we will ask:
Questions to help us understand your experience and how your life has been impacted. Your responses will help us define the best course of action for your claim.
What happens next:
Either book a no-obligation appointment with an abuse law expert right away or,
Speak with our team about your options
How Shine can help
We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.
95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court.
We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation-free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand.
We are ready to take action, supporting your choice not to be silenced and right wrong.
Survivors of abuse FAQs
Is there an abuse lawyer near me?
With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers' legal advice and support.
If you’d like to speak to our abuse law team in person, you can see our full list of locations here.
If you aren‘t able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment or discuss the option to meet at a location that’s comfortable and convenient for you. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.
Can I represent myself, or do I need an abuse lawyer?
It is possible to legally represent yourself when making a claim however, doing so successfully will likely require a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and a commitment to actively pursue the case to move it forward. Without an experienced abuse lawyer in your corner, it can be difficult to identify and highlight the strengths of your case. Without the right legal advice and support, you then may not receive the compensation you're entitled to. A lawyer can help you maximise your lump sum entitlements.
Why trust Shine to be my abuse lawyers?
At Shine Lawyers, we put your first. We’ve been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 45 years. As one of Australia’s largest litigation law firms, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
Our empathy, understanding and expertise is why we’re ahead of the pack. We’ll stand with you and guide you through every step of the way.