Abuse of our elders is one of the most underreported crimes in Canada. It’s a form of violence against some of our most vulnerable citizens, a cowardly act that goes unreported much too often. The World Health Organization has estimated one in every six seniors over the age of 60 experiences abuse or neglect.

Elder abuse is best described as any action that results in harm to a senior by someone in a relationship of trust such as a spouse, a friend or a caregiver. Reporting cases of elder abuse may be a sensitive matter especially if it means reporting a close family member or some other previously trusted person.

Financial abuse, emotional and psychological abuse are the most commonly reported offenses. Sadly, a senior may experience more than one kind of this cruelty, which may also include physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.

Seniors abuse is a crime, and reporting it ANONYMOUSLY to Crime Stoppers is a safe way to help police gather enough information to take action. This applies to everyone, including newer Canadians who may find reporting the abuse of seniors an unfamiliar concept. Crime Stoppers has operators day and night who accept tips around the clock in 115 languages including Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin and Cantonese. Victims don’t have to speak English or French to get help.

Anyone with information about a suspected case of elder abuse or any other crime can call Crime Stoppers 24/7 at 1-800-222-8477, access Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” mobile phone app, or report a tip online at solvecrime.ca. There is also a link for reporting tips on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.