National Resource Center on Domestic Violence Recognizes World Elder Abuse Day with Special Collection on Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life

Elderly hands holding a flowerOn June 11, President Obama called attention to elder abuse by declaring it World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Explaining how the Affordable Care Act protects seniors with the Elder Justice Act, President Obama’s Proclamation outlines how the Federal Government has strengthened its response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Complementing these important laws is the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), enacted in 1984 to protect survivors of domestic violence, regardless of age. This includes older Americans who are experiencing sexual violence, abuse and neglect from their partners, or their family.

Like domestic violence, elder abuse has been a long-hidden problem, with significant public health and societal consequences. To bring attention to the experiences of domestic violence survivors in later life, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA) and the Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), has updated a compilation of research on abuse affecting seniors. The Special Collection on Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life draws from the work of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the National Center on Elder Abuse, the National Adult Protective Services Agency and other organizations. Focusing on domestic and sexual violence in the lives of seniors, this resource emphasizes collaborative and multi-pronged approaches to addressing domestic and sexual violence in later life.

Originally developed by the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, this Special Collection provides an updated account of the legislative, programmatic, and policy landscape as it relates to abuse in the lives of seniors. With its attention to the complexities of older people's experiences with intimate partner violence, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence was recently recognized by the Women’s United Nations Report Program for its important contribution to the field.

No one should live in fear of their partner at any age. Whether they are children, adults or seniors, survivors of domestic violence deserve care, attention, and support. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program is proud to support the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence for its work to spread awareness of the challenges faced by older survivors, and to remind us that violence does not discriminate by age.

To view the Special Collection, visit VAWnet.org, the National Online Resource Center on Violence against Women.

To learn more about how the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program support resource centers like the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, visit our webpage.