For Faith Leaders

Many older Americans turn to their faith communities and faith leaders for help when they are experiencing abuse. Older survivors know and deeply trust faith leaders and community members and often reach out for assistance in times of great need. As a faith leader, you can play a critical role in responding to abuse as well as improving access to services and supports for older survivors in your community. You may also be in a unique position to observe signs of abuse and indicators of abusive behavior.  

Where Faith and Safety MeetIn October 2008, NCALL and Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse examined the juncture of elder abuse and faith on a national level, and sought to strengthen collaborations among faith community leaders and domestic violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault service providers.

In 2010,  Safe Havens and NCALL released an elder abuse and faith toolkit intended to support service providers and advocates as they reach out to and collaborate with local faith communities. This toolkit, Where Faith and Safety Meet:  Faith Communities Respond to Elder Abuse, offers resources for service providers and advocates, as well as for faith communities. We hope that, working together, service providers and faith communities can respond more effectively to victims and survivors and increase access to community-based services.

Partnering to Address Faith and Safety

In 2013, Safe Havens and NCALL released a companion toolkit, Partnering to Address Faith and Safety: A Guide for Faith Leaders and Domestic and Sexual Violence Service Providers to Assist Older Victims of Abuse. This guide provides ideas, best practices, and strategies for domestic and sexual violence service providers and faith leaders to build partnerships that support older victims and survivors. 

All of the resources of these toolkits can be accessed here.

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:

Abuse in Later Life and Elder Abuse Page

This page offers 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

This series of information sheets provides an overview of mandatory reporting obligations.

NCALL National Abuse in Later Life Directory

To view a searchable list of local programs specifically designed to work with older victims of abuse, as well as a state and national resources available to older survivors, please visit the NCALL National Abuse in Later Life Directory.



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