The Catholic Weekly 19 July 2020

$2 19, July, 2020 Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services CATHOLIC LEADERS and disability advocates have ex- pressed disgust that the NSW Ageing and Disability Com- mission received information about 2200 cases of abuse, ne- glect and exploitation in just 12 months. In its first annual snapshot the commission revealed that out of 10,000 calls to its hotline it had handled more than 3800 matters with nearly two-thirds of those relating to abuse, ne- glect and exploitation of adults with a disability and older peo- ple. The most commonly report- ed allegations for older people were psychological and finan- cial abuse, while for adults with disability it was psychological abuse and neglect. Approximately 75per cent of the reports to the commission related to older people, mainly older women. Leading the commission is lawyer Robert Fitzgerald who told media that “everyone has the right to live free from abuse and we all have a role to play in making that happen”. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said it was “quite disturb- ing” to learn that the commis- sion had received so many re- ports of abuse andneglect in its first year. “As Catholics, we are called to respect the fundamental dig- nity of each person, all loved as children of God,” he said. “We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community and ensure they can live safe and secure lives.” Deputy national leader of Aged abuse shocks Thoseclose toNSWagedcaredisgustedby latest statisticsonmistreatment of elderly ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Heavenly lovewith feet on theground NEWLYWEDS ELISE and Robert Bautista have already overcome their first hurdle of married life, tying the knot during a global pandemic in a near-empty church. They exchanged vows last month at Maternal Heart of Mary Parish in Lewish- am and are inspired by the ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues many couples who celebrat- ed a combined 2000 years of married life at St Mary’s Ca- thedral last weekend. “We are so grateful for the example of our parents’ and grandparents’ love and commitment over decades of marriage,” Elise told The Catholic Weekly . They follow on the heels of Amal and Lourdemary Arulswamys who celebrated 57 years of wedded bliss at the annual Marriage Mass at the cathedral celebrated by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP. The Liverpool couple said the secret to a long and hap- py married life is practising the faith together. REPORT P3 L’Arche Australia Claire Lawler said that the organisation was “appalled” to see the NSW sta- tistics. “We believe every person has a right to feel safe in their environment,” Ms Lawler said. She said that L’Arche strongly supported the statement from the Australian Human Rights Commission recognising the “inherent value of each per- son, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe…based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect”. “L’Arche believes very strongly in treating others fairly and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives,” she said. “Respect for human rights is the cornerstone of strong communities in which every- one can make a contribution and feel included”. At Sydney’s Ephpheta Centre for the deaf and hard of hearing, the Cen- tr’e Manager of Business, Liz McDowell, and David Parker, Manager of Community, said they were not surprised at the high number of serious com- plaints. The centre had helped many deaf people to overcome “wide-ranging” types of abuse including psychological abuse and neglect. “We know from the expe- riences of many deaf people in our community that many people with a disability are of- ten ‘left behind’ and their rights overlooked,” they said. They said the reports high- light the need for urgent action to be taken to support people with a disability. “But sadly, many people with a disability do fall in be- tween the cracks and this is when abuse and neglect hap- pens.” Current statistics on abuse of the elderly are shocking, say those working in the industry or representing it. PHOTO: RAWPIXEL LTD IRAQ’S CHRISTIANS ‘ALMOST EXTINCT’ A BEAUTIFUL BROTHERHOOD P11 P16