Bridging the gap between responses to elder abuse and responses to family and domestic violence in rural and remote communities
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Elder abuse has been recognised as a significant social issue in recent years. Though the vast majority of reported elder abuse is perpetrated by family members, it is often not recognised as a form of family and domestic violence. In contrast to family and domestic violence, elder abuse tends to manifest as non-spousal violence, with the majority of reported cases perpetrated by adult children. Elder abuse is estimated to affect up to 15.7 per cent of community dwelling older people in high and middle income countries (Yon, Mikton, Gassoumis & Wilber, 2017). Though older people from rural and remote areas are potentially more vulnerable to abuse due to social and geographic isolation, and difficulties accessing support and legal services, there has been little research in this area. A systematic scoping literature review was undertaken to explore national and international evidence about prevention and service responses to elder abuse and family and domestic violence in rural and remote communities. The review identified 27 articles discussing overlapping prevention and service response issues for both sectors. Seven key responses were identified; advocacy, safety planning, community approaches, inter-agency collaboration, education, abuse screening, and crisis and transitional services. This paper outlines these responses and discusses the benefits and implications of collaboration between service providers from the Australian elder abuse and family and domestic violence sectors.
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