Elderly Abuse History
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An elder member of a family being subjected to abuse is not a new phenomenon. Is has been in practice since ancient times, and it is only with the focus on child abuse and domestic violence, has this form of abuse been brought out in the open and condemned.
Though initial attempts were made to justify this as a problem related to ageing and an issue related to social welfare, thankfully now it has been identified as a criminal justice concern and a matter related to public health.
Public health and criminal justice are the two fields that dictated how elderly abuse must be investigated, analyzed and finally handled. Senior citizens face the risk of abuse not only in their own homes or other residential environments; they are also susceptible to it on the streets, thanks to street crimes, sudden attack by strangers, gang wars or some kind of military activities. The first record of the abuse of the elderly was made in 1975 by British scientists, who wrote about ‘granny battering’ in their journals. However, it was the US Congress that first recognized the abuse of the elderly as a political and social issue, and it then captured the attention of practitioners and researchers.
The 1980s saw significant amount of scientific research and action on behalf of the governments take place in a number countries like the US, Australia, China, Sweden, Canada and Norway. The next decade saw a number of other countries follow suit, like India, Argentina, Japan, Brazil, Israel, Chile, the UK, South Africa and other countries in Europe.
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