To increase our knowledge and understanding regarding older women’s lifelong experiences of domestic violence
Limited research has looked at the older woman experiencing domestic abuse. Gap in literature as significant minority of older women (aged 55yrs plus) are experiencing lifelong domestic violence Between 6%-10% of all reported domestic violence involves older women as victims Unique needs for support and services Lack of research, professional awareness and services for this hidden vulnerable population
Individual semi-structured interviews with older women who have experienced domestic violence. A focus group with service providers.
Many of the participants had lived with domestic violence for a significant period of their adult lives. This had resulted in a significant impact on their mental and physical health, and relationships with family and friends. Services did not appear to be attuned to the needs of older victims.
This study goes someway in raising the awareness of the needs of older women experiencing a lifetime of abuse. The study highlights that abused older women are very different from younger women, on numerous levels which have important implications for service delivery and community resources. These differences may help professionals and advocates appreciate what support mechanisms these women really need to survive a lifetime of abuse and trauma.