The first step in addressing sexual assault, is to start listening to older people who are at risk. We also need to treat older people, especially those with dementia and cognitive impairment, with the dignity and respect that they deserve. This means taking their sexual assault disclosures seriously and responding appropriately.
The #ReadyToListen campaign, led by OPAN in collaboration with Celebrate Ageing and OWN NSW, has developed a suite of resources to address sexual assault in aged care, including a Charter of Sexual Rights in Residential Aged Care, see below.
If sexual assault occurs, or is alleged or suspected, in an aged care home or in-home aged care, staff are obliged to report the incident to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission as priority 1 under the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS).
1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. Call 1800 737 732
1800FULLSTOP Fullstop Australia offer confidential counselling for people who have experienced sexual assault and for family members. Call 1800 385 578
Preventing sexual assault of people with dementia in residential aged care
The webinar outlines the role that perceptions of people with dementia play in their vulnerability to sexual assault in residential aged care and offers practical resources for prevention. Click on the ‘CC’ button to turn on captions and the 'V' icon for full screen.
Documents and external links
Learn more about sexual assault in aged care. These documents and websites offer help, strategies, and practical information. Brief descriptions are provided for each document or link.
The Charter of sexual rights and responsibilities
The Charter outlines 14 rights and responsibilities of residents and staff in residential aged care. The aim is to support prevention of sexual assault in residential aged care, by clarifying when sexual activity is acceptable – and when is not.