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Elder Abuse – research study on family abuse

Насиље над старијим особама

“Elder Abuse – research study on family abuse” is a publication developed within the framework of IPA project “Dialogue of civil society organisations about issues of older people in the Western Balkans”, supported by European Union. The project was implemented by the Red Cross of Serbia in partnership with Age UK (United Kingdom), Association Osmijeh – Gracanica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Albanian Association of Geriatry and Gerontology (Albania). It is also a result of many years of work of the red Cross of Serbia and HumanaS network on sensitising the public and older persons themselves on discrimination, neglect and abuse targeting older persons.

The publication has two parts: the first part defines discrimination and abuse, describes different forms of abuse, common traits of abusers as well as persons who may be at a higher risk of being targeted by abuse. It also lists the institutions responsible for prevention. This first part of the publication is written by the Red Cross of Serbia associates Natasa Todorovic and Dr Milutin Vracevic. The second part provides results of the research on elder abuse in family context implemented in Nis and Novi Sad as well as the recommendations to combat elder abuse in the Republic of Serbia. The research and recommendations were done by Prof Dr Nevena Petrusic, who was Commissioner for Protection of Equality at the time. The research analyses the data on reported cases of family based elder abuse in 2010.

Elder abuse is a phenomenon that is understudied both in Serbia and globally. WHO data shows that 4-6% of older persons are targeted by some form of elder abuse in their own household but it is assumed that the numbers are much higher. The scarcity data on of elder abuse in family context hints that this is still a taboo both in Serbia and across Europe.