Domestic violence in later life is a staggering issue locally, statewide and nationally.
Only 5% of elder abuse victims report to law enforcement
Over 1500 elder abuse cases are reported in Erie County annually (reported by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office)
Elder Abuse – The physical, sexual, and/or emotional mistreatment, neglect or financial exploitation of the basic needs of an adult, sixty years of age or older by a spouse, family member, friend or acquaintance in a domestic setting, which results in harm to the elder adult. The elder adult may or may not be physically or mentally impaired.
Physical Abuse- The use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. This includes inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
Emotional Abuse– People speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. This can be verbal, through yelling or threats, or nonverbal, through ignorance and isolation.
Sexual Abuse – Is non–consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person. This can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, forcing the elder to undress, or inappropriate touching during routine care. Sexual contact with a person incapable of giving consent is also sexual abuse.
Financial Abuse – This involves unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver, or an outside scam artist.
Neglect – Failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as he or she does. This includes failure to provide a safe environment or life necessities.
Abandonment – Desertion by the person who has responsibility to provide care to an elderly person.
The Elder Domestic Violence Shelter Network (EDVSN) is a collaboration between local nursing facilities and service providers to temporarily shelter victims of domestic violence in later life. The EDVSN was launched on June 13th, 2014. The goal of the shelter network is to provide a safe place for victims so they can receive appropriate medical care and the resources necessary to achieve a life free from domestic violence.
Eligibility requirements include:
– Applicant must be 60 years of age or older
– Applicant is not able to live independently
– Applicant must be the victim of domestic or family violence
– Applicant must not be eligible for traditional shelter
– Applicant cannot self-refer