Domestic violence towards the elderly has been increasing sharply since 2010, more than doubling in parts of the UK.
Recent figures released by Essex Police show that across the county the number of reported cases inwhich people aged over-65 were abused rose between 2009 and 2014, from 85 to 177 per year.
Even this, however, could represent only the tip of the iceberg. Janet Dalrymple, CEO of the charity Safer Places, reported that “only about four per cent of older women report what’s happened to them,” suggesting that police figures are a chronic underestimate.
The statistics come after the Crown Prosecution Service proposed updating guidelines to spot elderly domestic abuse. Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, cited financial dependence and health concerns as two main reasons why elderly victims are often reluctant to come forward.
Elsewhere in the UK, Julie Howard, Head of North Somerset Against Domestic Violence, stated that her organisation alone sees “at least one case a week of domestic abuse among the over 50s.”
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