Overcoming Barriers: Exploring Specialist Interventions for Supporting Older Women to Escape Domestic Violence and Abuse
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In this chapter, we problematise current discourse and policy which serves to marginalise or neglect older women. In doing so, we highlight the ways in which the tendency to define, or misname, older women’s experiences as elder abuse ignores the gendered dynamics of power and control inherent in DVA. Moreover, the discourse of elder abuse leads to the neglect of the subjective experiences and needs of this particular group resulting in the homogenisation of older women’s lived experience. In contrast, we will use empirical data collected from semi-structured interviews conducted with practitioners (n = 4) employed as Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) in the DVA sector in Northern England to illustrate the specificity of older women’s experiences. Additionally, we will explore the policy and practices of EVA Women’s Aid, a UK-based agency which offers refuge accommodation and specialist support for women aged 45 and over.
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