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Practitioner views on the impacts, challenges, and barriers in supporting older survivors of sexual violence

Bows, H.

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Abstract

Despite half a century of research on both sexual violence and elder abuse, the intersection between the two remains largely unexplored. Using theoretical lenses of feminist criminology and critical feminist gerontology, this article explores the intersection between age and sexual violence drawing on interviews with 23 practitioners supporting older survivors (aged 60 and over). They reported physical and emotional effects of sexual violence leading to limited lifestyles, disengagement from social networks, and reliance on pathogenic coping strategies. Provision of effective support was complicated by challenges associated with aging bodies and the social stigma associated with both sexual victimhood and older age. Additional challenges lay in supporting older male survivors and those living with dementia. The article ends by discussing implications for practice and an agenda for future research.

Citation

Bows, H. (2018). Practitioner views on the impacts, challenges, and barriers in supporting older survivors of sexual violence. Violence Against Women, 24(9), 1070-1090. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801217732348

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 25, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2017
Journal Violence Against Women
Print ISSN 1077-8012
Electronic ISSN 1552-8448
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 9
Pages 1070-1090
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801217732348

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage)







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