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Enhancing the Safety of Elderly Victims After the Close of an APS Investigation

NCJ Number
Date Published
Shelly L. Jackson, Ph.D., Thomas L. Hafemeister J.D.
The purpose of this study was to test whether particular actions on the part of adult protective services (APS), the elderly victim, and/or society’s response to abusive individuals, are associated with the continuation of abuse after the close of an APS investigation and thereby compromise victim safety.
A small proportion of elderly victims continue to experience abuse after the close of an APS investigation. Elderly victims were more likely to experience continued abuse when they chose to have ongoing contact with their abusers, vis-à-vis cohabitation or otherwise, and when their abusers experienced no consequences. Although continuation of abuse did not differ by the type of maltreatment involved, reasons for the cessation of abuse, and other safety indicators, did. To enhance victim safety, greater monitoring may be warranted in cases wherein elderly victims continue to have contact with their abuser and when abusive individuals experience no consequences. To further enhance victim safety, abusive individuals must be incorporated into an overall strategic response to elder abuse. A potential avenue for facilitating victim safety while maintaining victim autonomy is to understand their motivations for desiring continued contact with their abuser and developing interventions based upon such knowledge. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
Date Created: August 28, 2014