Neglect, Abuse and Violence against Older Women

Neglect, Abuse and Violence against Older Women
Publication Date:
Category: Social Development
Language: English

The objective of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) was the elimination of all forms of neglect, abuse and violence against older persons (MIPAA, 2002).

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), together with its focal point on ageing in the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), began a discussion based on current research, available data and the terminology used in academic circles to describe and classify violence and abuse against older women. The majority of academic research and discourse has been conducted in developed countries, and agreement on terminology and meanings has—by no means—been clear or agreed. This lack of agreed definitions was one of the problems that explained the lack of visibility of older women in the discourse surrounding the issue of violence and abuse.

The purpose of the present publication is to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge about the abuse of older women. The main forms or categories of abuse against older women are discussed, particularly in relation to differing definitions of neglect, abuse and violence against women and older adults.

This publication also provides an overview of preventive measures for addressing the issue, presenting the findings of evaluations on their effectiveness, where available. It gives an overview of main approaches to addressing the abuse of older women, and key interventions – including policies and programmes for the protection of older women victims of abuse – along with outcomes, where evaluations have been completed.