Age UK reports increased risk of domestic abuse for older people

Age UK is one of the national leading charities helping to support senior citizens with all manner of issues that old age can bring. The charity recently released a new report entitled No Age Limit: the blind spot of older victims and survivors in the Domestic Abuse Bill in which it says that lockdown has increased the risk of older people experiencing domestic abuse despite misconceptions that those living with others are ‘fortunate’ and ‘safe’. Such abuse victims are likely to be dependent on the person abusing them financially or for their care. They will face, in addition to fear, barriers to reporting this abuse such as lack of physical and mental capacity and a lack of access to digital or other services.

The charity is now calling on the government to consider how to make the best use of resources to tackle domestic abuse among older people, because “domestic abuse has no age limit”. The charity is calling for:

  • training for health care practitioners, including GPs and practice nurses, who work with older people, particularly during hospital admission and discharge
  • data on domestic abuse for all ages, not just people aged 74 and under.

The Local Government Association has responded to Age UK’s report, saying:

“The upcoming Spending Review needs to provide a long-term, sustainable settlement for councils so they can protect individuals and families from the physical and psychological harm of domestic abuse, including investment in perpetrator programmes and a new National Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Strategy.”

To read the Age UK report click here.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.

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