Older People aged 59+ are more likely to experience abuse from an adult family member or intimate partner than those under this age and they are often underrepresented in a lot of services.
Older victims may live with abuse for many years before getting help and this could mean that the abuse has become normalised, and it will take them longer to leave an abusive situation.
It can take longer for older victims to get the right support because they may not be able to get out as easily, do not have anywhere safe to go, do not have access to a mobile phone or technology and are experiencing more isolation than younger people.
This may be exacerbated by the fact the perpetrator may also be their carer as older people are more likely to have a disability or other complex health needs
Older people experiencing abuse from a family member can be less likely to report the abuse to the authorities or seek help as they still love their family member. They may be worried about being left alone as they get older.
If they have savings or a home of their own it could mean they are not eligible for some benefits/legal aid/housing support and then face extra financial hardship
At Valley House we can be very flexible in how we provide support to older people, our accommodation can accommodate carers and disabilities and we work closely with other agencies such as Age UK, housing and Social Care.
By working together, we can achieve better outcomes and help more older victims of Domestic Abuse to live a safer and independent life.
Age UK have campaigned for data to be collected on all victims and survivors of domestic abuse, whatever their age. The Office for National Statistics has listened and will now start collecting this data on those aged 75+.
Our staff are trained on the needs of older people, including benefits available to them and housing options and staff are able to explore alternative solutions with older people.
At Valley House we continually work to provide the highest domestic abuse support service to older people and improve our services for older people.