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Britomart's Hanging Artwork Wants You To Talk About Elder Abuse

Radius Care sheds light on the issue of elder abuse through a compelling art installation

Elder abuse in New Zealand is a pervasive yet largely unacknowledged issue, impacting up to one in ten seniors, as reported by Te Tari Kaumātua, the Office for Seniors. Despite its widespread occurrence, numerous instances of elder abuse remain unseen and unreported. Radius Care is addressing this critical problem directly with a powerful art installation named 'Safety Net,' created by artist Mandalina Stanisich, to raise public awareness and stimulate action on this urgent matter.


Exposing the Crisis of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical violence, financial exploitation, psychological torment, and neglect. Research from the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing reveals that 10% of individuals over 65 experience some form of abuse. However, only one in 14 cases are reported, as many victims do not recognize their own victimization, leading to a significant underestimation of the issue.

'Safety Net': A Visual Call to Action

To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Week, Radius Care is showcasing 'Safety Net,' a thought-provoking installation designed to provoke contemplation and action against elder abuse. Created by Mandalina Stanisich, an artist known for addressing social issues through her work, 'Safety Net' serves as a stark reminder of the hidden plight faced by many older adults.

Stanisich's installation features a brightly crocheted dummy, symbolizing diversity and the elderly, suspended above Waitematā Britomart’s main train terminal from June 10 to 16. The vibrant piece urges passersby to look up and consider their role in preventing elder abuse. An accompanying easel provides information on how individuals can assist within their communities.

Raising Awareness and Encouraging Action

"Radius Care is dedicated to ensuring that older New Zealanders live with dignity, respect, and the support they deserve," said Brien Cree, Executive Chair of Radius Care. "Elder abuse can be as overt as physical harm or as subtle as social isolation and neglect. Cultural and social barriers often prevent older adults from reporting abuse, making it crucial to raise awareness and offer support."

Stanisich emphasized the importance of the project, stating, "Elder abuse is an unseen threat affecting many New Zealanders. I am grateful for Radius Care’s support in bringing 'Safety Net' to life and spreading its crucial message. We must act as the safety net for our elderly, ensuring they receive the care and attention they need."

World Elder Abuse Awareness Week, running from June 15 to 22, is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness and combating elder abuse.

For those experiencing abuse or neglect, a free, confidential 24-hour helpline is available at 0800 326 6865, directing callers to the nearest Elder Abuse Response Service.

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