It’s never too late – every AGE deserves to live a life free from domestic abuse

A new campaign raising awareness of domestic abuse affecting older people is launched this week.

The Southend, Thurrock, and Essex Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) is supporting United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by launching the It’s Never Too Late campaign.

Alison Gilmour, Head of SETDAB Domestic Abuse Partnership said: “Domestic abuse does not discriminate by age, and it is crucial that we bring attention to the unique challenges faced by older adults.

“Our campaign, ‘It’s Never Too Late,’ aims to empower older people to recognise abuse and seek help. By starting these vital conversations and providing accessible resources, we can support older victims across Essex in reclaiming their lives free from harm and fear. Together, we can make a significant difference and ensure that older people can live with the dignity and respect they deserve.

“We invite voluntary and statutory organisations across Essex to download and use our resources from the SETDAB website, which includes posters and social media content.  We hope older people will see these resources and reach out for help, recognising that it’s never too late to ask for support. Starting conversations is crucial to transforming the response to domestic abuse in later life.”

Unrecognised and underreported

Research shows that domestic abuse in older people is often unrecognised and underreported. Abuse may occur over many years or begin in later life, sometimes building up subtly over time. Abuse isn’t always physical and can include a partner, ex-partner, or family member attempting to exert control.  Older people can be abused by an adult child or grandchild as well as by a partner or ex-partner.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted that the consequences of abuse can be particularly severe for older people. Abuse can lead to long-term psychological issues; recovery can take longer; and even minor injuries can cause permanent damage or death.

Download the Resources and join our campaign

The campaign uses content and visuals adapted from the ‘Hidden Harms’ animation, co-created by domestic abuse survivors aged between 60 and 93-years-old from Dewis Choice. It explores different types of abuse such as emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse, along with coercive control and encourages victims to seek help.

Download the “It’s Never Too Late” media pack.

How You Can Help

-Stay Informed: Learn about the signs of domestic abuse and share this knowledge with others.

-Stay Connected: Regularly check in on older family members, friends, and neighbours.

-Report Abuse: If you or you suspect that an older person is being abused, call Essex Compass, Essex’s Domestic Abuse helpline on  0330 333 7 444

If you or anyone is in immediate danger always call 999.