Thursday 15th June is World Elder Abuse Day. Established in 2011, this global event aims to raise awareness about the prevalent issue of elder abuse worldwide. Unfortunately, within our society, domestic abuse experienced by older individuals remains a hidden topic. When people think about domestic abuse, older victims are often not considered.
The Reality of Domestic Abuse Among Older People
In fact, older victims of domestic abuse are prevalent. Age UK estimates that 413,000 older individuals experience domestic abuse each year, with women disproportionately affected. Shockingly, a quarter of domestic abuse support seekers are older victims. However, due to underreporting and societal stigma, the actual number of older victims is likely much higher than these figures suggest.
Types of Abuse and Perpetrators
Older victims face similar types of abuse as younger victims, including physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse. Additionally, they may suffer from financial exploitation, control, or theft. While partners can be the perpetrators, older victims are also at a higher risk of abuse from their own children, grandchildren, and, in some cases, other family members.
Contributing Factors to Vulnerability
Various factors contribute to the vulnerability of older individuals experiencing domestic abuse. Age-related physical and cognitive decline can pose challenges in accessing help and support. Furthermore, ageism and the misconception that domestic abuse only affects younger people often lead to disbelief or trivialization when older victims attempt to disclose their abuse.
Barriers to Seeking Help and Support
Older victims often face daunting barriers that prevent them from seeking help and support. They may be threatened with the loss of contact with grandchildren, financial independence, or even forced placement in a care home. Feelings of fear, shame, and embarrassment further impede their ability to seek assistance. Additionally, the lack of awareness about older victims and available services compounds the issue.
Raising Awareness and Providing Support
World Elder Abuse Day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of older victims of domestic abuse. In line with our commitment to supporting all victims, The Elm Foundation is hosting the CPD-accredited “Older Victims of Domestic Abuse” Training on June 14th at the special rate of just £20 per person. This 2.5-hour training equips attendees with valuable information about how domestic abuse affects older people, how older victims present, and how to provide them with the necessary support to seek help and ensure their safety.
To learn more about World Elder Abuse day, visit: https://wearehourglass.org/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day-what-do-i-need-know
To book a place in our Older Victims Training, visit: https://www.theelmfoundation.org.uk/services/training/training-courses/