Domestic violence against elderly registers fifth annual increase

Cases of domestic violence in 2013 was double than those reported three years ago.

There was a steady increase in domestic violence on elderly people over the past five years, Sunday newspaper Illum reports.

Official police statistics show domestic violence reports on people aged 60 and over was at a five-year high in 2013, double those reported in 2010.

Last year’s domestic violence reports totaled 86, up from 77 in 2012. On the other hand, 57 cases were reported in 2011 and 39 in both 2009 and 2010.

However, these figures can be higher since reports made to the social services are not recorded.

Between 2009 and 2013, there were almost 350 reports of physical abuse on elder people, and 385 theft cases.

Speaking to Illum, Victim Support Malta Director Roberta Lepre explained that notwithstanding the domestic violence, abuse on elderly people takes several forms.

“Abuse on elderly people may also be emotional, verbal and pshychological,” she explained. “Moreover, elderly people are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. It is a common occurrence for elders to be exploited and tricked into signing documents transferring money or property,” Lepre argued.

The Victim Support Malta Director also argued that despite such abuses being common in Malta society, there is not enough awareness.

Read more in today’s edition of Illum