Never Too Late: Domestic abuse and older people in Dudley

With an increasing number of older people becoming victims of domestic abuse, a new service is being launched in Dudley to support this older age group. Delivered by CHADD, this innovative new service is able to provide tailored support to older victims of abuse thanks to funding from the Victim’s Fund provided by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. 

Working in partnership with Dudley Council, the specialist service will supplement existing refuge services by providing:  

·         Fully furnished specialist refuge accommodation for older people who have been victims of domestic abuse.

·         Specialist outreach support to other victims in the local community.

·         Awareness and training events around the hidden issue of domestic abuse and older people for local groups, volunteers and professionals.

There are increasing numbers of older people who are victims of domestic abuse and domestic homicide, as a national picture and regionally.  CHADD’s refuge service in Dudley is seeing increasing numbers of older victims as the ageing population grows.

       500,000 older people are believed to be abused at any one time in the UK, with most victims of elder abuse being older women with a chronic illness or disability – NHS

       In 2013/14 there were 21 females and 5 male victims in England and Wales aged 60+, representing 21.3% of all DHR’s (domestic homicide reviews).

Mainstream domestic abuse and refuge services are often targeted at younger people with small children and activities are very much focused on younger age groups.  This new service will now provide women’s refuge accommodation in a more appropriate setting for older people.  Often older people can feel particularly isolated and alone even after they have made the decision to leave the abusive environment, which can then lead to them returning to the abuse.  Older people may also face challenges with physical frailty, financial dependence and wider family & cultural expectations that can keep them in abusive relationships. 

Being able to offer a service tailor made for older generations and a home to facilitate resettlement and recovery will be a valuable service for Dudl

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “Domestic abuse can affect anyone at any stage of life. Never Too Late will be an invaluable service in supporting older victims and I am happy to fund it.

“Domestic violence is all too often hidden behind closed doors but I am determined to ing it out of the shadows and tackle it head on.

“Never Too Late will offer real solutions to real problems and I am pleased to be providing more than £14,000 to fund it.”

Anna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer at CHADD said:

We know that different generations face very different experiences of domestic abuse and very different challenges in escaping and recovering and so this service will provide the flexibility and a specialist approach to work with older victims in a new way.”

 “We want older people who are victims of abuse to know that they can find support and help and a home that meets their needs”.

Councillor Gaye Partridge, cabinet member for housing and community safety at Dudley Council, said:

“I am delighted that funding has been made available to CHADD to provide a service for older victims of domestic violence and abuse.

“I wish CHADD well in this new and much needed area of work.”

If you wish to find out more about this new service please contact us on 01384 864334 or email: dat@chadd.org.uk

The work is part funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and is part of our collaboration with the police and other local services to help people facing serious crimes in their home.

 

 

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