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Young persons and prevention of elder abuse targeting older women


The Red Cross of Serbia continues with the implementation of the “Empowerment of older women: preventing violence by challenging social norms in Serbia and Austria (EmPreV)” project, so on 2 March at the premises of Red Cross Palilula branch in Belgrade, a second focus group interview was organised, with ten younger persons who discussed the topic of violence targeting older women with us.

This discussion showed that the opinion of younger persons is that violence should be adequately sanctioned but that, when it occurs, the response by the system often is not there. Our interviewees consider older women to be at twice the risk of violence – due to them being women and due to them being older. For younger persons if is important to change societal attitudes towards older persons and fight stereotypes and prejudice as they often constitute a prelude to violence. On the other hand, older persons themselves should socialise more, not isolate themselves from the community once they are retired, they need friends. Right now, Belgrade offers a lot of content that provides for many different activities. Another recommendation of older persons is that clear limits should be set, they are of the opinion that there is violence in the institutions but it is never spoken about and it should be.

All the participants agreed that younger persons should be a sort of a bridge between their parents and their parents’ parents should any problems in the family arise. The focus group interview was conducted by prof. Dr Bojana Matejic, dr Milutin Vracevic and Nataša Todorovic and there were ten younger participants. The question these young persons asked us was: what is the next step, how do we protect older women?

This project is funded by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency.