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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Identifying and responding to domestic abuse in the older population: Key challenges and complexities

Lonbay, Sarah and Southall, Carole (2023) Identifying and responding to domestic abuse in the older population: Key challenges and complexities. The European Journal of Social Work. ISSN 1468-2664

Item Type: Article


Many older people are subjected to domestic abuse every year and yet this is an issue that has been neglected in terms of policy, practice, and research. The aim of this research was to develop knowledge and understanding of how key agencies identify and respond to domestic abuse in the older population. A qualitative study, utilising semi-structured interviews with practitioners from statutory and voluntary sector agencies and two older women who had experienced domestic abuse, was undertaken. Findings show that the recognition of domestic abuse in later life is limited, although participants suggested that it was more readily identified now than previously. The complexities of abuse in older age can impact on whether abuse is identified as domestic abuse and it is suggested that age discrimination also impacts on this recognition. Where domestic abuse is identified, there are issues with how it is responded to, including a lack of services to refer on to for older people and a lack of age appropriate tools and resources to draw upon. Issues that complicate this area of practice include the cross over between elder abuse and domestic abuse for older people, particularly where care and support needs are present.

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More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: Domestic abuse/ violence, interpersonal violence, older people, adult safeguarding, elder abuse, thresholds.
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sarah Lonbay


Item ID: 16160
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1468-2664
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Sarah Lonbay: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 13:49
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2023 12:25


Author: Sarah Lonbay ORCID iD
Author: Carole Southall

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Criminology
Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Social Sciences > Sociology

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