How to Report Elder Abuse? All You Need to Know About It
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Here’s a guide on how to report elder abuse.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is on June 15 and elder abuse cases are on a rise, as per data recorded by the Elders Helpline, Bengaluru. It is important to provide older adults and those who care for them with the knowledge of what they are required to do in order to report abuse that they face. Just being aware of The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is not enough. Here’s an easy manual from Silver Talkies that older adults can follow to report any kind of abuse they go through. Senior Advocate, Shiv Kumar tells us the steps senior citizens facing elder abuse should abide by.
Report it to the jurisdictional police station: The very first step is to make the jurisdictional police aware of the abuse. A senior facing abuse has to go to the police station and file a written complaint. Those who cannot write are required to verbally inform it to the station house officers who can pen it down for them and get their thumb impression on the piece of paper where the complaint has been written. Oral complaints are not adequate to take action as it can lead to confusion in the future.
File a First Investigation Report (FIR) in case of an admissible offence, assault or an injury: In case a senior is hurt and reports an admissible offence, an assault or an injury to the police station, the cops must register an FIR and investigate the complaint and find out whether the report is genuine and gauge its intensity.
Obtain a wound certificate from the government hospital: Once the cops find out the truth of what has happened after the investigation and the complaint appears to be genuine, the senior has to be taken to a government hospital for medical examination by the cops. Following the examination, the abused senior citizen will be provided with a wound certificate on the basis of which, the cops will file a charge-sheet against the accused. The case will thereby go on to the magistrate court or others and the legal discourse will be followed.
Seek help from the helplines: The seniors may also make use of the Elders Helpline available in their respective cities and seek help from the coordinators available there and file a petition to report an abuse. The counsellors available at the helpline first listen to the case and find out if they are genuine. Once found to be true, a written complaint is registered by the Helpline and a notice is sent to the perpetrator through the police. Following this, the Helpline tries and creates a platform of dialogue between the two parties and tries to resolve the dispute amicably. For property-related abuse, the legal experts available at the helpline advise them towards a settlement.
According to Senior Advocate and Silver Talkies panel expert Shiv Kumar, in actual practice, once a senior files a report of verbal or emotional abuse against someone within the family, the cops do not register FIR in the first place and do an informal enquiry. They call up the person against whom the report has been filed and try to make a peaceful settlement. The legal discourse is followed when the police find it to be a prima facie case.