Gloucestershire

More domestic abuse cases in over 60s in Gloucestershire

Woman being abused (generic) Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption More than 1,100 people supported by GDASS last year were over 60 years old

The number of domestic abuse cases involving older people has almost quadrupled in Gloucestershire in the past 12 months.

Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) said more than a quarter of people it supported in 2016 were aged over 60.

Of 3,951 clients helped last year 1,120 were over 60 - a figure of 28%. In 2015 it was 10%. In 2014 it was 8%.

Sally Morrissey from GDASS said the issue was "bigger than people think".

She said the increase could be due to more elderly people becoming aware that support was available.

'Leaving difficult'

"People over 60, percentage-wise, are more likely to be in abusive relationships than those under 60," she said.

"Older people tend to stay in relationships longer, they may have been in that relationship a long time and the thought of leaving it is very difficult.

"As we get older the thought of moving, giving up family, friends, our house, our possessions - those things get harder. And older people maybe find it more difficult to talk about it."

She added that perpetrators of abuse may also be victims' carers, and "feel very reliant" on that person.

Rob Fountain, chief executive of Age UK Gloucestershire, said the increase did not surprise him.

"Let's make sure that people aren't living in situations they don't have to," he said.

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