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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Older Women: Hidden Sexual Abuse Victims

General Material

In several studies, the offenders were most often male relatives of the victim (e.g. an adult son, husband) and a frequent form of abuse was vaginal rape of women and anal rape of men. With respect U.S. state law on marital rape, it reports that some states that have criminalized marital rape still "exclude husbands if their wives have temporary or permanent mental or physical disabilities".

Comments to Consider when using this piece:

  • You may want to supplement this information with elder abuse statistics published after 1997.
  • The piece mentions one important goal "to reduce vulnerability to sexual abuse". One might also want to discuss goals and implementation steps that provide viable options supporting an older person's right to live the rest of their days free from abuse.
  • The piece illustrates the extent of abuse by family member against older women. One may also want to more fully discuss the documented risks older people have regarding abuse perpetrated by some institutional staff caregivers.