The experiences, needs of, and support for older women survivors, and how services respond to them

Finnegan, Emma Louise (2022) The experiences, needs of, and support for older women survivors, and how services respond to them. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Despite some acknowledgment that older women can be victims of violence and/or abuse, there is a dearth of empirical research in this area. There is also little known about the challenges services face in recognising and responding to older survivors. Given the negative consequences on victims and the ever-increasing aging population, there is reason to address these gaps. By incorporating older women’s experiences into a field where they have largely been ignored, this study makes an original and valuable contribution to feminist criminology and victimology. Further, by detailing the experiences of professionals and highlighting the challenges they face, I contribute to past research but add originality by considering the effects of austerity and neoliberal ideology.

My research applies a qualitative approach that is contextualised in an intersectional feminist framework, informed by social constructionism epistemology. Data collection involved in-depth interviews with 13 older women who self-defined as experiencing violence and/or abuse after the age of 60, and 21 professionals from two distinct groups, namely social services, and domestic abuse and/or violence (DVA) organisations. All practitioners have experience of working with older women victims/survivors.

Through this in-depth exploration, that listened to the voices of older women, experiences of violence and/or abuse which are undocumented in previous published UK studies, are showcased. This includes coercive control within family relationships, abuse by adult children, abuse by professionals, and details of abuse in care homes. Further, by taking account of the views of practitioners who support older women survivors further light is shed on their ability to recognise and respond to older victims. Originality is added by exploring the effects of austerity and neoliberal ideology. Additionally, it has been inferred by some professionals that social workers refrain from referring to specialist DVA organisations. My findings not only demonstrate this, but also derive from the accounts given by social workers themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: domestic abuse, non-domestic abuse, safeguarding, elder abuse, austerity and neo-liberalism
Subjects: L500 Social Work
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy by published work
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2023 07:38
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 08:00

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