Background

Intimate partner violence against older women is a significant social issue which is likely to increase as societies age. While much emphasis has been placed on tackling intimate partner violence against younger women and girls, our research has revealed that such incidents are often further compounded by the dynamics of ageing, such as retirement, chronic health conditions and dependency on care.

This is frequently not recognised or understood by law enforcement and social support practitioners, particularly when the offending behaviour does not feature physical or sexual violence but instead involves coercion, financial abuse and neglect, which appear to be under-reported and/or under-recorded. Furthermore the frailty and vulnerability of some perpetrators and victims poses specific challenges for intervening institutions.