Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life

Multi-stakeholder involvement is crucial in addressing unique needs of older survivors and preventing elder abuse and abuse in later life. The documents included in this section offer information on elder abuse and abuse in later life, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking prevention and response by stakeholders.

Older Persons, Family Members, Friends, Caregivers, and Bystanders
Older persons, their families, friends, caregivers and bystanders who are in their immediate environment have an advantage of identifying abuse at an early stage or preventing abuse before it starts. This section presents information on preventing, identifying, and reporting of abuse by older persons, family members and friends, and bystanders.

The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life webpage has a “get help” section designed to provide information for individuals who are being harmed or know an older adult who is being abused, neglected or exploited.

Domestic & Sexual Violence Victim Advocates
Service providers must understand and address the special needs of older persons who experience domestic and/or sexual violence (DV/SV). The materials in this section provide information about unique aspects of elder abuse, specifically DV/SV in later life and offer suggestions for serving older DV/SV survivors.
Health Care Professionals
Because health care professionals interact with many older persons daily, they have an important role in screening for abuse and taking necessary actions. Documents included in this section offer guidance on recognizing and responding to abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life.

PocketDocCover.jpgThe Pocket Doc, available for purchase from the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect (University of California, Irvine) and the Program in Geriatrics (UC Irvine School of Medicine) is designed to be helpful to professionals in the fields of social work, law, and law enforcement who combat elder abuse. This sturdy spiral-bound book is a guide to common geriatric disorders and medications.

Health Care Professionals
Because health care professionals interact with many older persons daily, they have an important role in screening for abuse and taking necessary actions. Documents included in this section offer guidance on recognizing and responding to abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life.

map-new.gifState Resources: The National Adult Protective Services Association offers access to state Adult Protective Service agencies via their online map. In addition, the National Center on Elder Abuse, Administration on Aging, provides a searchable database to find State reporting numbers, government agencies, state laws, state-specific data and statistics, and other resources.

Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services (APS) workers investigate allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation, work closely with a wide variety of allied professionals such as aging network services, physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers. To contact your local APS, please visit: http://www.napsa-now.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/.

eldercare-locator.jpgEldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging to connect individuals and agencies to services for older adults and their families. They can also be reached at 1-800-677-1116

Aging Network
Aging network professionals and volunteers provide community services to elders such as transportation, meals on wheels, in-home care and other services. Aging network professionals may encounter domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking in later life. Listed below are some selected materials on these topics.
Justice Professionals
Justice professionals, including law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, court personnel, and civil attorneys, may encounter cases of elder abuse. Listed in this section are selected resources related to legal issues in elder abuse cases, including enhancing victim safety and holding offenders accountable.
Faith Communities
Many older people who experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation do not contact adult protective services, domestic and/or sexual violence (DV/SV) services, or the justice system. Some older people may talk to leaders in their faith community before or instead of contacting any other professionals. This section lists several resources on elder abuse awareness in faith communities.

interfaithflower_0.jpgThe Special Collection, Domestic Violence and Religion outlines how faith leaders from many different spiritual communities can become effective allies in the prevention and intervention of domestic violence in their communities

Collaboration/Coordinated Community Response
This section emphasizes collaboration between victim advocacy service providers, adult protective service providers, and other community organizations.

Ageless Alliance: United Against Elder Abuse
The Ageless Alliance is a grassroots movement that brings organizations, communities and individuals together to take action-oriented steps in preventing and responding to elder abuse.

A Social Worker’s Role in Elder Abuse Cases: Reporting, Holistic Assessment and Resources