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Dynamics of Abuse in Later Life  

Author:  Bonnie Brandl, M.S.W..; Jane A. Raymond, M.S..

Source: Volume 02, Number 01, Summer 2009 , pp.91-95(5)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Most cases of elder abuse occur within the family. The perpetrator can be a spouse or partner, child or grandchild, or other relative. The causes of elder abuse include (a) limited mental capacity of the perpetrator; (b) caregiver stress; and, as is common in other forms of family violence, (c) power and control. Issues of power and control might be missed in cases of elder abuse if those who intervene assume that the cause is related to (a) or (b). Making the wrong assumption about the reason for the abuse means that potentially lethal abuse may be missed, and the abuser will not be held accountable. A team approach is the most effective form of evaluating and intervening in these cases.


Affiliations:  1: Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence; 2: Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability.

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