Local seniors group has created the Langley Community Response Network to raise awareness in the community about adult abuse issues and highlight the need for prevention.
The Langley Seniors Community Action Table Society partnered with the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN) to create the local network and announced it in time for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day which is June 15.
“The purpose of the CRN is to raise awareness in our community about adult abuse issues and to highlight the need for prevention activities that allow seniors in the community to lead happy, healthy lives free from abuse,” said Paul Crump, president of the action table society.
Elder abuse is a growing concern around the world. So much so that in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 15th of every year as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).
In its declaration, the United Nations said that this important day ‘represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations.”
Social isolation has been identified as one of the leading contributing factors to an increase in risk. In this unprecedented time of social isolation and stress throughout the world due to COVID-19, abuse incidents are higher, domestic violence has increased dramatically and crises line calls are at an all- time high. Approximately 10% of all senior adults will experience some form of physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse. It is also believed that abuse of seniors is significantly under reported. Tragically, many will suffer in silence, in fear or in shame.
“LSCAT will continue building awareness and educating seniors, friends, family members and community agencies on how to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect and where to go for support,” Crump explained.
Langley joins more than 200 other B.C. communities that have networks.
“We are thrilled to have the Langley CRN join with LSCAT to play this important role in our community. As a Langley resident, I am very proud to lead this amazing organization,” said Sherry Baker, BC CRN executive director.
The BC Association of Community Response Networks is a provincial non-profit organization with supports 80 CRNs representing 232 communities around the province. It is funded by the Ministry of Health and community gaming funds to ensure that the communities can take, as much as possible, responsibility for the safety of their vulnerable adults. Across the province, last year there was more than $1.5 million worth of volunteer hours, donations and gift-in-kind provided to the CRNs to advance their work.