For Survivors Over the Age of 60
Many adults over the age of 60 experience sexual abuse.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1 elder abuse is defined as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to someone over the age 60.”
This abuse can take different forms, including physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect. One study indicated that approximately 10% of people over the age of 60 experience one or more of these forms of elder abuse (Lachs, & Pillemer, 2015).
Older adults are more vulnerable to sexual abuse for several reasons. They may require a higher level of care and attention, or they may have challenges in accessing sexual assault support services due to lack of transportation, physical disabilities or other impairments. Other risk factors include having low levels of social support, experiencing traumatic events in the past, having dementia, having a low income or living in poverty, or being in poor physical health (NCEA, 2018).
Perpetrators of elder abuse are most likely to be adult children or spouses, be male, and have past issues with substance abuse, mental and/or physical health issues, and past issues with the criminal justice system (NCEA, 2018). However, a perpetrator of elder abuse may not fit part or all of this description.
SATC services for adults over the age of 60
At The Sex Abuse Treatment Center our staff is trained to provide high quality sexual assault services to individuals of all ages. In 2016, SATC‘s oldest client was 85 years of age, and, in our 43-year history, we have served survivors up to age 98 years.
If you are an adult over the age of 60 and have experienced sexual violence, or if you know an older adult who is a victim of sexual abuse, please call our 24-hour hotline (808-524-7273).
Our staff is always available to provide the support and information survivors of all ages need, and are prepared address issues and concerns specific to adult survivors over the age of 60.
References and Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC
- Lachs, M., & Pillemer, K. (2015). Elder abuse. New England Journal of Medicine, 373, 1947–56. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1404688
- National Center on Elder Abuse – NCEA