For Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocates and Programs

Many older survivors will seek the help of domestic and sexual violence advocates and programs in dealing with the abuse they experience. Older victims can benefit from many of the services traditionally offered by domestic violence and sexual assault programs such as individual and peer counseling, support groups, emergency and transitional housing, and specialized economic and legal advocacy. However, domestic violence and sexual assault programs have not customarily served many victims age 50 and older. Typically, staff working in domestic violence or sexual assault programs have more experience working with younger populations than older individuals. 

Notwithstanding these challenges, advocates and programs can have a profound and positive influence in the lives of older survivors. Advocates can use their specialized skills and training and their confidential relationship with survivors to help them better understand the dynamics of abuse; to be aware of the available options, services, and resources; and to assist them as they navigate through complex intervening systems. Advocates and programs can also help to combat ageist social norms by promoting dignity and respect for persons of all ages in their work and service programs. 

To explore additional ways that domestic and sexual violence advocates and programs can make a difference in the lives of older survivors, please visit our Take Action page.

Selected Resources:

Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates

In 2016, NCALL created the Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates report. This summary report describes seven guiding principles with minimum guidelines and practical strategies for advocates and programs to consider when creating or enhancing their services to better meet the needs of older survivors. Hyperlinks to 34 video segments of experts discussing key content are interspersed throughout the document. To view this resource with captioned videos, please click here. To view this resource with visually described videos, please click here.

Promoting Respect and Dignity Across the Lifespan:  Working with Older Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence webinar

This webinar highlights NCALL’s Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates summary report which describes guiding principles, minimum guidelines, and practical strategies to help victim service providers better serve older survivors of abuse.

Abuse in Later Life Education Series for Advocates

The Abuse in Later Life Education Series for Advocates consists of 13 instructional video clips featuring national experts discussing key topics advocates encounter when serving older survivors. The training modules are formatted as videos, each less than 30 minutes in length. A worksheet accompanies each module with links to additional resources and questions for advocates and programs to consider as they incorporate key content into their practice.

For your convenience, NCALL has created a chart individuals can use to track which modules they have watched. The document contains the module title, information on the presenters, the length of each recorded module, and space to write the date the module was watched.

Please note: There is no cost to view these modules. You will be prompted to complete a short survey of 3 questions prior to accessing each module.

The Abuse in Later Life Education Series for Advocates is currently supported with Grant No. 2016-TA-AX-K077 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), you may do so on our Donation page.


MODULE 1: Overview

 

As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define why advocates must address abuse in later life
  • Identify NCALL resources for advocates on working with older survivors

Module includes:


MODULE 2: Defining Elder Abuse & Abuse in Later Life


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define elder abuse and abuse in later life

Module includes: 


MODULE 3: Intimate Partner Violence in Later LifeLois, survivor


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define intimate partner violence in later life
  • Recognize that a significant portion of elder abuse cases involve female victims with spouses as perpetrators
  • Describe power and control tactics in abuse in later life

Module includes: 


MODULE 4: Sexual Abuse in Later LifeSue Hall Dreher, consultant


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define sexual abuse in later life
  • Recognize unique issues for older victims

Module includes: 


MODULE 5: Stalking in Later Life


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Describe in later life
  • Explore some of the unique issues for older victims of stalking
  • Recognize technology can be used in stalking in later life

Module includes: 


MODULE 6: Economic Abuse & Financial Exploitation in Later LifeAnne, survivor


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define and identify indicators of economic abuse in the context of intimate partner violence
  • Define and identify indicators of financial exploitation by family members, trusted others, or strangers
  • Identify resources to assist older victims who have experienced economic abuse or financial exploitation

Module includes: 


MODULE 7: Neglect, Self-Neglect & the Role of APSRicker Hamilton, Maine Department of Health & Human Services


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define neglect and self-neglect Identify indicators of neglect Initiate contact with adult protective services and other professionals when appropriate

Module includes: 


Bonnie Brandl, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later LifeMODULE 8: Power and Control Tactics & the Role of Caregiver Stress 


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify the dynamics of power & control and/or entitlement in abuse in later life relationships
  • Explore additional scenarios where harm may occur in relationships
  • Clarify the relationship between caregiver stress and abuse

Module includes: 


MODULE 9: Victim-Defined AdvocacyAnn Turner, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define victim-defined advocacy for older survivors
  • Provide strength-based support to older survivors of abuse
  • Practice respectful, effective communication when working with older victims

Module includes: 


MODULE 10: Trauma & Older Survivors  Amy Judy, Vera Institute of Justice


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define individual and historical trauma
  • Understand the influence of trauma on older survivors

Module includes: 


Latrice Hogan, consultantMODULE 11: Providing Trauma-Informed Advocacy for Older Survivors 


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify the effects of trauma on trauma survivors
  • Provide trauma-informed advocacy when working with older survivors

Module includes: 


MODULE 12: Mandatory Reporting Alicia Aiken, Confidentiality Institute


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Define the relationship between privacy, confidentiality, and mandatory reporting
  • Determine whether or not you are a mandatory reporter and your legal obligations
  • Develop policies and practices to address mandatory reporting that minimize any unintended consequences to victims and promote autonomy and safety

Module includes:


Anne Menard, National Resource Center on Domestic ViolenceMODULE 13: Elder-Informed Victim Services


As a result of this training, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the importance of including elder voices in designing programming and policy
  • Utilize the tools and strategies needed to implement inclusive, elder-informed programs and policies

Module includes:

Abuse in Later Life and Elder Abuse Page

These resources offer an overview of abuse in later life and abuse dynamics, discuss the importance of providing a survivor-centered response, and assert the critical role collaboration can play in abuse in later life cases.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting Page

Some advocates may be mandatory reporters. This series of information sheets provides an overview of mandatory reporting obligations. 

Domestic Violence in Later Life Page

These resources explore domestic abuse against older adults that is perpetrated by a spouse or intimate partner.

Partnering to Address Faith and Safety

This tool provides ideas for best practices and strategies for domestic and sexual violence service providers and faith leaders to use when building partnerships that support older victims and survivors.

Safety Planning Page

These resources provide examples of safety plans that can help older survivors think about planning for their safety and prepare in advance for the possibility of future violence.

Please visit the NCALL Resources and Publications page to view additional resources designed to help domestic and sexual violence advocates and programs effectively address the needs of older survivors.

 

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