Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to draw attention to this crime which is all too often overlooked. Elder abuse is a hidden crime in our society, a crime that affects our most vulnerable citizens, our seniors.
Elder abuse is generally thought of as a physical abuse but is often much more than that. Elder abuse is any act that harms a senior or jeopardizes his or her health and welfare. Elder abuse could come in the form of neglect or sexual, physiological, financial or physical abuse. It could take place in a home, a facility setting, or anywhere in the community.
The sad truth is that elder abuse is a crime that often goes unreported as victims fear the consequences or reprisals and have a feeling of shame.
I will be introducing a private member's bill in the House on the mandatory reporting of elder abuse. I hope that all of my colleagues across all party lines will support it. As parliamentarians we need to do whatever we can to stop this crime against our wisdom keepers.
This day, June 15, is meant to draw attention to elder abuse. I encourage all members of the House and indeed all Canadians to become more aware of this tragedy against Canadian seniors and to do whatever they can to help eradicate this crime.