Gold Coast grandparents caught in custody battles facing abuse from drug-affected parents

March 28, 2017

An alarming number of elderly residents caring for their grandchildren are becoming victims of escalating domestic violence and drug abuse on the Gold Coast.

Experts warn grandparents are at risk when they try to protect their grandchildren from violent parents under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Others are prevented from seeing their grandchildren in situations of elder abuse.

With limited income and reduced access to free legal aid, they are suffering in silence and fear.

Victoria Shiel, director of the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre, said although she was seeing a rise in the number of grandparents seeking help, she believed this was just the tip of the iceberg.

“We believe there are a whole lot of hidden grandparents who haven’t come forward because they are very fearful about reaching out for help,” she said. “It concerns me that they are in these horrible situations but aren’t getting help.”

Ms Shiel said the grandparents she was seeing were all frightened and their fears included upsetting their children and of their grandchildren being withheld from them.

Originally Published by The Gold Coast Bulletin, continue reading here.

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