Mary had already given her son property but now he wanted money and she had become frightened of him. One day, her fear was so strong that she confided in Paul – a man she knew because he organised activities for a community group she belonged to.
Paul had attended information sessions about elder abuse presented by COTA Tasmania in the past. Although he knew about the Elder Abuse Helpline, he turned to COTA in the first instance. He said he didn’t want to get involved in a family dispute but if what Mary had told him was true he would not be able to live with himself if he didn’t try to help in some way.
COTA reassured Paul that he was doing the right thing by reaching out. COTA reminded him that he could ring the Elder Abuse Helpline himself to ask questions, he could give the helpline’s number to Mary for her to ring, or he could support her to make the call.
When Paul talked to Mary the next time they met at the community group, she told him she didn’t have a mobile phone and would be too frightened to call the Elder Abuse Helpline from her home in case her son heard her. Paul decided to help her make the call himself by lending her his mobile phone and being with her while she rang.
Mary’s conversations with the Elder Abuse Helpline were private and COTA Tasmania was not told the outcome. Later, however, COTA learned that Mary had bought herself a mobile phone and had lessons in how to use it.