Sage Advocacy has launched a new project to ascertain if vulnerable adults and older people, who are often the subjects of crime and hidden crime, are able to access the supports they require.
The Victims of Crime project, which is supported by the Department of Justice, will examine both the nature and subject of crimes against older people and adults who may be vulnerable and analyse what levels of support victims of crimes received.
Stephanie Monahan, Sage Advocacy’s Victim of Crimes Project Coordinator, believes the project will ultimately benefit older people and adults who may be vulnerable because it will give a voice to victims of crime, who may previously have been silent.
Ms Monahan said: “We know from our advocacy work that there are many different crimes perpetrated against people who may have to depend on others, and we appreciate that people may be reluctant to view themselves as a victim of a crime.
“But Sage Advocacy hopes that this research project will shed light on how extensive the issue of crime against older people and vulnerable people actually is across the country and encourage victims to find their voice”.
The first stage of the research project, which analysed referrals and information enquiries received by Sage Advocacy, shows a worrying scale of crimes against older people and adults who may be vulnerable including from financial or material abuse to emotional abuse, physical abuse, organisational abuse and also coercive control.
Ms Monahan says the organisation appreciates how difficult it is for victims to reflect on the crime that was perpetrated against them, but Sage Advocacy is encouraging them to share their experiences – completely anonymously.
Ms Monahan said: “We are currently running an online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FQ5PK8Y - and we would very much welcome if anyone who has been a victim of a crime or is a family member or a professional who is supporting an older person or an adult who may be vulnerable and who was a victim of a crime to participate in this survey.
“This is a completely anonymous survey – you don’t have to submit any personal details – not your name, address or telephone details.
“We would very much appreciate if people would share their experiences with us and we can assure anyone that participates in this survey that they will ultimately be helping us to put better supports in place for victims of crime throughout Ireland.”
Ms Monahan said if people do not want to take part on the survey online they can also take part in the survey by phone by calling 087 055 3254.
The survey is open until October, 15, 2021.
“Sage Advocacy wants to ensure that the voices of victims of crime are heard and ultimately if this research projects identifies further supports are needed then they are rapidly put in place,” Ms Monahan added.