Practitioner Views on the Impacts, Challenges, and Barriers in Supporting Older Survivors of Sexual Violence

Hannah Bows

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Despite half a century of research on both sexual violence and elder abuse, the intersection between the two remains largely unexplored. Using theoretical lenses of feminist criminology and critical feminist gerontology, this article explores the intersection between age and sexual violence drawing on interviews with 23 practitioners supporting older survivors (aged 60 and over). They reported physical and emotional effects of sexual violence leading to limited lifestyles, disengagement from social networks, and reliance on pathogenic coping strategies. Provision of effective support was complicated by challenges associated with aging bodies and the social stigma associated with both sexual victimhood and older age. Additional challenges lay in supporting older male survivors and those living with dementia. The article ends by discussing implications for practice and an agenda for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1070-1090
    Number of pages21
    JournalViolence Against Women
    Volume24
    Issue number9
    Early online date25 Oct 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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