Elderly domestic abuse victims experience 'more intense abuse'

Elderly victims of domestic abuse may experience more intense and frequent bouts of domestic violence, according to new guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Case behind the guidelines: Mary Russell

  • Domestic violence among elderly couples was brought into focus by the death of 81-year-old Mary Russell in 2010.
  • Mary died of a bleed to the brain following a "domestic related" incident but is believed to have suffered abuse for some time.
  • Mrs Russell, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, made eight 999 calls in the seven months before she died.
  • She first reported violence to police in 2003, when she was found standing on her doorstep with blood pouring from her nose by a neighbour.
  • Her husband, Albert Russell, was arrested after his wife's death but it was decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the 88-year-old, who has since died.
  • A serious case review found police were failing to deal with the hidden problem of domestic violence among elderly couples.

Read: 'Intense bouts' of domestic abuse suffered by elderly

'Intense bouts' of domestic violence suffered by elderly

Elderly domestic abuse victims are at danger of more frequent and intense bouts of violence, according to fresh guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Read: Hunt: 'Chronically lonely' ignored

Elderly
Elderly victims of domestic abuse are often already isolated by old age, the guidelines warned. Credit: PA

New draft guidance from the CPS warned the stress of caring for an ill partner in later life could also lead to increased domestic violence.

The situation was often exacerbated by mental and physical frailty and isolation brought on by old age.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "We know from research conducted by others that there is very little evidence that partner violence decreases with age, and it is important we also recognise the factors that may contribute to and impact upon domestic abuse between older people."

Read: That's Life! returns to launch 'older people' helpline

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