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Older Women and Abuse

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As part of the International Year of Older Persons (1999), Speakout secured funding from the Department of Immigration & Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) for a unique and innovative community education project targeting older non-English speaking background women around issues of violence. The project was conducted between March and November 1999. It involved the development and implementation of a comprehensive community education project, for community leaders and workers and other key people that have contact with older non-English speaking background women. The main aim was to increase participants' skills and confidence in identifying and addressing issues of abuse for older NESB women to enable them to work effectively within their communities. The Filipino and Turkish communities became the primary focus of the project. Contact was made with key community workers and leaders in these respective communities. The project included the following phases:

  • Preparation Phase
    The establishment of an Advisory Committee, undertaking a literature review and making contact with workers in both the government and non-government sectors.
  • Consultation Phase
    Included running both formal and informal consultations with various people in the identified communities and also with other key stakeholders that work with or have researched issues of abuse and older women.
  • Implementation Phase
    This phase involved the implementation of four distinct strategies as follows:
    • Case Management
      Direct support and resourcing of communities dealing with cases relating to older women in abusive situations.
    • Community Education
      Involved the development and implementation of a comprehensive community education strategy. Some of the training topics included the identification of abuse, cross-cultural barriers and services available.
    • Promotion
      Involved the dissemination of information relating to violence and older non-English speaking background women using both mainstream and ethnic media. This component also included participating in key forums/ conferences and other key events.
    • Advocacy
      Mainly involved the strengthening of key networks and hosting a forum with key stakeholders, both in government and non-government organisations, to ensure that the issues relating to older non-English speak ground women and violence are highlighted and prioritised for inclusion in their agendas. 
      The project has developed clear and practical recommendations in response to the consultations and training.

    A final report outlining the outcomes and recommendations of the project was launched in November 1999. This report is available from Speakout at $10.00 per copy. For more information please contact IWSA on 9635 8022 or email us.