I’m an older adult. How can I protect myself from abuse?

3. Talk to someone

If you're being abused, you need support. Think about telling someone you trust about what's happening. You'll want them to respect your decisions and listen without telling you what to do.

This might be a friend, doctor, nurse, lawyer, social worker, counsellor, or religious leader.

Talking about abuse can be difficult. You may be worried about what could happen if you tell someone and you may be afraid of:

  • what your abuser will do to you if you report the abuse
  • how your abuser may stop you from getting things you need, like clothing, housing, or health care
  • how your relationship with the abuser and their family may change, if you're close to them

But talking about the abuse can help you find out what your options are and where you can get help, including community resources.

Community resources

There are organizations across Ontario that you can talk to about abuse. They can explain your options and help you find services and support in your local community. Here are some examples. They're all free to use.

The Seniors Safety Line takes calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages. They can refer you to programs and services in your community. Their staff are trained to help with safety planning and offer supportive counselling. Call them at 1-866-299-1011.

The Assaulted Women’s Helpline takes calls in many languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can tell you where to get help and how to find a safe place to stay. Call them at 1-866-863-0511.

The Victim Support Line can refer you to programs and services in your community, such as counselling and shelters. Call them at 1-888-579-2888.

ConnexOntario can help you find information and services for your mental health, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call them at 1-866-531-2600.

When you call a helpline, you don't have to give your name or contact information.

To find other supports and shelters in your area, call 211 or go to the 211 Ontario website.

Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario has information on many resources to help keep you safe.

Find out about government services that can help you continue to live safely at home and about other housing options, such as long-term care, retirement homes, and supportive housing.

You can also visit your library, health centre, or community centre to find out about local services.

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