Breaking the silence: Elder abuse in the Republic of Moldova

Stronger society
179.922 Euro
HelpAge International
2013 - 2015
The project aimed is to alleviate all forms of neglect, abuse and violence against older women and men in the Republic in Moldova. Specifically, the project worked to 1) protect older people, with specific attention to older women, against domestic violence, neglect and abuse though strengthened support services; 2) mobilise the community and state authorities in the awareness raising, promotion and protection of the rights of older victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Target group of beneficiaries: Eight Older People’s Groups (185 older women and men) and eight Multidisciplinary Teams at rayon level (at least 120 staff members of MDTs); Over 1100 direct beneficiaries (100 per rural site (4 sites), 200 for Balti and Comrat and 150 for Orhei and Ialoveni) participants of community outreach activities; About 50 representatives of local self-governance, existing community structures such as health and social protection workers, law enforcement agencies, educational structures, women and youth committees. The final beneficiaries are 195,759 people living in eight project communities out of which 24,997 (15,457 women and 9,540) are older people. The adult population (115,255) and children (55,507) will also benefit from this action by participating in the community-based activities. The key government bodies are the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family with the Ministerial Coordinator Group on Preventing and Combating Gender Violence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Rayon level Directorates for Social Assistance and community level Social Assistance Departments, UN agencies – UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, OSCE.



The project was a breakthrough into the perceptions and understanding of abuse and violence of older people in Moldova. It unveiled the hard to identify and recognise phenomenon, brought up clear statistics through qualitative and quantitative research on the situation of older people in Moldova and identified recommendations and strategies that need to be developed to eliminate all forms of neglect, abuse and violence against older women and men in the Republic of Moldova.

A national survey on elder abuse with a sample of 1,596 respondents was carried out during the project using quantitative and qualitative data in order to inform government policy on protection of the rights of older people.

Capacity building activities became the keystone of the project, enabling duty-barers represented by eight Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) of the National Referral System, (NRS) Government structures and institutions such as Social Assistance and Family Protection Directorates at rayon and at local level, Medical Service Providers and Primarias to diversify their services and provide age-appropriate support for older victims of violence and abuse.

Community based actions developd by project NGOs and volunteers groups enabled older people to understand the issue of abuse and various types of violence and together find solutions, and solicit support, helping to resolve 1,203 cases of violence.

Key project campaigns at both local and national levels - the annual UN 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence and global Age Demands Action (ADA) campaign of HelpAge, project publications and information materials helped to increase public awareness about domestic violence and elder abuse.

The performance of the play “Batrii Nostrii” (“Our Elderly”) became an eye-opening experience, providing insight into a problem until now believed to be non-existent. The play was viewed by 471 spectators of different ages and audiences.

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