Domestic Abuse and Older People

Domestic abuse means abusive behaviour between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship or who are family members. Research tells us that when domestic abuse is happening to an older person it is less likely to be recognised or reported. Older survivors might have been living with the abuse for a long time, might be worried about upsetting other family members by speaking out or be unsure about the support available to them. Campaigns around domestic abuse often focus on younger adults, meaning that abuse of older people isn’t as easily recognised.   

The Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board and Safe Newcastle are aiming to increase awareness that domestic abuse can happen at any age and that there is support available.   

Supporting carers, reducing risks  

We know that getting older can mean people need more help and support. For some, caring for a partner or family member can be difficult and this can increase risks of domestic abuse.  Making sure family carers are supported can maintain and improve relationships.  Newcastle Carers provides advice, information and support to carers of all ages across the city.  They can be contacted on 0191 2755060 or via their website:    

Services and support for survivors  

Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) offer a range of practical and emotional support. NIDAS can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0191 214 6501 or via their website   

Survivors of domestic abuse who have care and support needs can be protected through safeguarding adults procedures. Visit our report a concern webpage for more information on how to make a safeguarding adults referral.

If you or someone else are in immediate danger or there is a threat to life please call 999 as soon as possible.  

Patricia’s story 

Patricia and David had been married for 50 years. Patricia’s health had been getting worse for a number of years and she ended up in hospital. Whilst she was in hospital, staff noticed that David was being unkind to her and wasn’t letting her speak. Staff spoke to Patricia on her own, she told them that David had controlled every part of her life and he had isolated her from other family members. Things had got worse since Patricia had become more dependent on him as she had become frailer. Patricia hadn’t told anyone as she felt it was private and she was worried it would make things worse for her. Patricia was supported by a Social Worker and an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) who helped her with safety planning and emotional support. When Patricia was ready to leave hospital, she did not want to return home and she did not want to have contact with David. She was helped to find a new place to live and to report unwanted contact to the Police. She reconnected with her family, was considering getting a divorce and starting to make new friends at her local church.