Older people sought to reform abuse help services

PUBLISHED: 17:30 10 September 2012

Copyright Archant Ltd

PEOPLE aged over 59 affected by domestic abuse are being invited to improve services in Somerset.

Domestic abuse could include physical violence as well as threatening behaviour and verbal, psychological, financial, emotional or sexual abuse, according to Somerset County Council.

The authority has funded research by the University of Nottingham to establish how well current services are meeting the needs of those affected by the condition and recommend ways of developing them in the future.

The project wants to hear from anyone aged 59 and over who has been affected by domestic abuse, or who may not have been directly affected but has an interest in helping develop services.

Taking part would involve an anonymous interview by phone or in person, lasting about 30 minutes.

Councillor Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for health and adult social care, said: “Somerset has an ageing population and safeguarding vulnerable people is a priority for the council.

“It is important that we make sure that the services we have in place can support everyone who is affected by domestic violence, whatever their age. I urge anyone who can contribute to get in touch and help us provide the very support that we can.”

Dr Julie McGarry from Nottingham University, who is leading the project, said: “Across the country domestic abuse is something that can affect people at any age.

“This project will help to identify how appropriate support and services might be improved for older people who have experienced domestic abuse”.

Those interested in taking part are being asked to call 0115 8230800.

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