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Access to Justice for Victims/Survivors of Elder Abuse: A Qualitative Study

  • Alan Clarke (a1), John Williams (a2) and Sarah Wydall (a3)

Elder abuse can be conceptualised as a social problem, a crime problem and a human rights issue. This article presents the findings from an evaluation of the ‘Access to Justice’ Pilot Project for victims/survivors1 of elder abuse, which was launched in 2010 as part of the Welsh Government's six-year integrated strategy for tackling domestic abuse. It was designed to address the needs of older people in domestic settings and facilitate their access to criminal and civil justice options. Between April and July 2012, case study data were obtained for 131 individuals. A total of thirty-three interviews and a focus group were conducted with service providers, potential service users and practitioners drawn from relevant statutory and third sector groups. The article explores multi-agency responses to elder abuse and addresses the victim‒perpetrator dynamic. Reactive and proactive types of perpetrator2 behaviour are identified and interdependence is described as a feature of the victim‒perpetrator relationship.

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