The Journal of Adult Protection

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Emerald Publishing
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An exploration of service responses to domestic abuse among older people: findings from one region of the UK

Julie McGarry; Christine Simpson; Kathryn Hinsliff‐Smith

2014 The Journal of Adult Protection

doi: 10.1108/JAP-08-2013-0036

Purpose – Domestic abuse continues to be largely hidden phenomenon. For older survivors this invisibility is further compounded by conceptual confusion surrounding domestic abuse and other forms of family violence. The purpose of this paper is to explore service responses to abuse among older people from across a range of sectors. Where possible the perspectives of older people themselves were explored. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach incorporating postal questionnaires and semi‐structured telephone interviews. Agencies and organizations from both the statutory and voluntary sector who provided specific domestic abuse support services or general services and support for older people (aged 59 years and over) and older people, either as survivors of abuse or with an interest in the development of services for older people within one region of the UK were invited to take part in the project. In total, 18 individuals from a range of agencies and three older women survivors agreed to take part in the study. Findings – The findings highlighted three main themes, first, lack of conceptual clarity between domestic abuse and elder abuse, second, complexity of family dynamics and abusive relationships, and third, deficit in dedicated service provision for older survivors. The findings are discussed within the context of the existing literature and key recommendations include wider recognition of the significance of inter‐professional education, training and working practices. Originality/value – This paper identifies the complexities and challenges that continue to face organizations in terms of recognition and provision of services for older survivors of abuse.
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The impact of psychological abuse on somatic symptoms: a study of older persons aged 60‐84 years

Joaquim Jorge Fernandes Soares; Eija Viitasara; Gloria Macassa; Maria Gabriella Melchiorre; Mindaugas Stankunas; Jutta Lindert; Henrique Barros; Elisabeth Ioannidi‐Kapolou; Francisco Torres‐González

2014 The Journal of Adult Protection

doi: 10.1108/JAP-08-2013-0034

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine differences in the experience of somatic symptoms by domain (exhaustion, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, heart distress) between psychologically abused and non‐abused older persons, and to scrutinize associations between abuse and somatic symptoms while considering other factors (e.g. social support). Design/methodology/approach – The design was cross‐sectional. The participants were 4,467 women/men aged 60‐84 years living in seven European cities. The data were analysed using bivariate/multivariate methods. Findings – Psychologically abused participants scored higher on all somatic symptom domains than non‐abused, and thus were more affected by the symptoms. The regressions confirmed a positive association between psychological abuse and most somatic symptom domains, but other factors (e.g. depression, anxiety) were more salient. Demographics/socio‐economics were positively (e.g. marriage/cohabitation) or negatively (e.g. education) associated with somatic symptoms depending on the domain. Social support and family structure “protected” the experience of somatic symptoms. Research limitations/implications – The research focused on psychological abuse. It did not incorporate other abuse types calling for further research on the effects of other abuse types on somatic symptoms. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that psychological abuse is linked to somatic symptoms, but the role of other factors (e.g. depression, anxiety, social support) is also important. Practical implications – Improvements in the older person's situation regarding somatic symptoms need to consider psychological abuse, co‐morbidities, social support and living conditions. Originality/value – The paper reports data from the ABUEL Survey, which collected population‐based data on elder abuse.
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Handle with care: providing pre‐trial therapy for adults with learning disabilities

Clare Le Roux; Mandy Leach

2014 The Journal of Adult Protection

doi: 10.1108/JAP-08-2013-0035

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the provision of therapy for witnesses who have a learning disability prior to and following a criminal trial. Authors will reflect on clinical practice whilst stressing that this area of work is in its infancy and both continue to learn through continued reflection and each new experience. Design/methodology/approach – The paper broadly describes the nature of pre‐trial therapy followed by reflection by a Counsellor and Supervisor on their clinical practice. Findings – Authors describe some of the common themes that arise whilst providing pre‐trial therapy. Social implications – The authors hope that the paper will encourage professionals involved in Safeguarding cases to fully consider the emotional needs of victims and to seek timely therapeutic support where the need presents. They also hope that it will encourage practitioners from various professions to consider providing this specialist and delicate type of therapy whilst highlighting the need for good supervision. Originality/value – There is a paucity of written information about this specific subject area. Although safeguarding of vulnerable adults has grown considerably over the last decade and investigations are now more likely to lead to legal action, the availability of emotional support for victims who have learning disabilities needs to be addressed.
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Battered and shattered: will they get justice? A study of domestic violence against women in India based on National Family Health Survey, 2005

Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya; Sonali Bhattacharya

2014 The Journal of Adult Protection

doi: 10.1108/JAP-07-2013-0032

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the type and severity of domestic violence faced by Indian women. An attempt has also been made to analyze and interpret demographic variations of domestic violence. The authors have highlighted steps taken by several government, community and private organizations on issues of domestic violence. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)‐III data (2005) was used for determining the socio‐economic factors, which are predictors of domestic violence against spouses and children. Logistic Regression Technique was applied. Findings – Results suggest that increased formal education for women, increase in family wealth, and financial independence may decrease spousal violence. Younger women and those who belong to a nuclear family are more vulnerable to spousal violence. Research limitations/implications – The research paper only limits its focus on women in India in the age group of 15‐49. A cross‐country comparison and a longitudinal study would have given better idea on the issue. Besides in India, there are serious issues of concerns of violence against children and elders which have not been part of discussion on this paper. Practical implications – The paper not only discusses causes of domestic violence but also on its effects on physical and psychological well‐being of women and children. Originality/value – The uniqueness of the study lie in on not only extracting out from NFHS survey‐III data, the socio‐economic factors which are determinants of domestic violence but also analyzing the politico‐religious‐cultural factors which play major role on the issue. The authors have also thrown light on consequences of domestic violence.
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