Aging Without Violence: I am a Friend or Family Member
The people who are closest to older women experiencing violence often have the greatest potential to help. Friends, family members, neighbours, co workers and community members have an important role to play when it comes to preventing and responding to violence against older women.
You can help by:
- identifying if there are warning signs of violence/abuse/neglect
- letting the older woman in your life know you are worried about her and why
- connecting her with resources to help increase her safety
- offering non-judgmental support
- telling her what she should and should not do
- acting as though what she is telling you is unlikely/unbelievable
- relaying any of her personal information to services without her permission
Visit the It's Not Right, Neighbours Friends and Families for Older Adults website to learn more about recognizing and responding to warning signs an older adult in your life is experiencing abuse and/or neglect.
Resources for older women experiencing violence
These resources can be provided to an older woman experiencing violence to help increase her safety. You can also contact the resources below to receive support yourself and learn more about how to help the older woman in your life who you are concerned about.
Find your local Violence Against Women Service
For information about shelters, abuse counselling, transitional services and more.
Find your local Sexual Assault Centre
For information about support, sexual assault counselling and more.
Seniors Safety Line (SSL)
The Seniors Safety Line provides contact and referral information for local agencies across Ontario that can assist in cases of elder abuse. Trained counsellors also provide safety planning and supportive counseling for older adults who are being abused or at-risk of abuse. Family members and service providers can also call for information about community services.
Seniors Safety Line: 1-866-299-1011
Assaulted Women's Helpline (AWHL)
Assaulted Women's Helpline is a anonymous and confidential 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis telephone line to all women in the province of Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse. AWHL provides crisis counselling, safety planning, emotional support, information and referrals accessible 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Assaulted Woman's Helpline: 1-866-863-0511 TTY: 1-866-863-7868
Talk 4 Healing
Talk 4 Healing is a free and culturally safe telephone help line for Aboriginal women living in Northern Ontario
Fem'aide- Francophone helpline for women affected by violence
Fem'aide is a provincial crisis line confidential services for Francophone women who are victims or survivors of any form of violence or are in distress, providing crisis intervention, support and referral to community agencies.
Fem'aide: 1-877-336-2433 (1-877-FEMAIDE) TTY: 1-866-860-7082
Aging Without Violence - Invisibility of Older Women Awareness Campaign
The Invisibility of Older Women campaign was launched by the AWV project in June 2019 and includes posters and postcards for both the general public and service providers aimed at disrupting the invisibility older women experiencing violence may feel within services, systems and communities.
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