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Domestic Violence and Older Women: A Review of the Evidence

Julie McGarry, DHSci, MMedSci, PGDip (Medical Ethics), BA (Hons), RGN, RMN, PGCHE, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham, Derby, UK.
Christine Simpson, MA, BSc (Hons), RGN, HV (Cert), Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham, Derby, UK.

Abstract
The consequences of domestic violence significantly impact the long-term health and emotional well-being of those affected. While the literature offers an insight into the scope and nature of domestic violence among younger populations, there is currently little available data regarding older women and domestic violence. This is increasingly being recognized as a significant deficit in awareness and understanding within society as a whole and, more particularly, for those responsible for support and care provision.
While research in this area may be scarce, the work that has been undertaken to date suggests that domestic violence is both a significant and an underrecognized phenomenon that has a wide-ranging impact on the lives and health of older women. It also suggests that older women's experiences of domestic violence are markedly different from those of younger women and that these differences have not been adequately acknowledged or accounted for.
Keywords: domestic violence, older women, service provision, health community, health.