Domestic violence is abuse, usually physical but sometimes emotional, perpetrated by a family or household member. The elderly, who can often be forced to rely on their family for physical and financial support, can be particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.
Elder abuse is categorized as a form of domestic violence, since it generally takes place in the victim’s place of residence. It can be defined as the intentional actions of a person that cause harm, or risk of harm, to a senior. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 10 percent of seniors suffer some type of abuse, most frequently at the hands of a trusted person known well by the victim. The Center’s research indicates that for every case that is reported, five cases go unreported. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.