Know your onions

For those working in specialist services, understanding domestic abuse, the law, the criminal justice system, the protection orders and services available requires expertise & skill.

Comprehending how those affected by domestic abuse are thinking & feeling, when they are at risk & long after, demands empathy & time, lots of time.

But those working with older people need to know something else….

Older adults represent all of us. They aren’t a homogeneous group defined soley by their age, the experience of ageing is unique to each of us. 

But older people do have a history which makes  recognising abuse & harm, much harder to articulate, speak out & find the right support.

Many of the older women I have spoken to, had to become experts at keeping themselves safe & often (but not always) wanting their family to stay together. 

A different approach is needed. 

And they know their onions better that we do.

We need to hear their stories & really listen. 

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