Violence Against Older Women

Domestic violence also occurs at an advanced age. It affects women who live in long-standing relationships characterised by violence, women who start a new relationship at an advanced age, or women who experience violence for the first time after years of living in a difficult relationship. Domestic violence can escalate and change its character due to age-specific factors.

Domestic violence against older was a taboo subject for a long time, but today it is increasingly recognised as a problem. Older women who have been abused have specific needs that pose special challenges in professional regards.

Serious physical or sexual abuses among couples often change into or focus on psychological violence at an advanced age. Older women are often unfamiliar with the support possibilities in cases of violence and therefore make hardly any use of them.

Many women who have experienced a war have been raped during wartime. Out of shame and speechlessness, they avoid talking about their experiences of violence. Such traumatisation often re-emerges at old age and as a corollary of illness or care treatment. Care facilities and their staff are seldom prepared for this. In many cases, the offers of specialised support are insufficient.  

Further information

Action programme ”Security for the elderly“ (SiliA, 2008-2011) by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.