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You are a trusted community resource. As a respected person or organization, you are in the position to assist when it comes to difficult issues. Individuals experiencing domestic violence in later life may confide in you directly or you may suspect that there is a problem. As a friend, member of the faith community, family member or other community resource sometimes just being there to care and listen is your gift to those around you.

When listening isn't enough.

There are bound to be times when you want to do more than listen. You cannot and should not tell anyone what to do, but you can give them options and resources to help.

Here are some articles and links to help you understand domestic violence in later life and be prepared to help:

  • Help a Friend or Family Member in Trouble: A tip sheet to help friends, family, and other concerned community members help someone who may be experiencing domestic violence.
  • Recognizing Older Adult Abuse: This article provides examples of signs of older abuse including financial, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Abuse in Later Life: This comprehensive resource provides questions and answers regarding abuse in later life. Abuse in later life is seen as the intersection between elder abuse and domestic violence and has characteristics that make it unique.
  • Domestic Violence in Later Life Scenarios: An article that includes some real-life scenarios that may help you be able to recognize some of the signs that someone may be experiencing domestic violence in later life.
  • Unique Needs of Individuals Experiencing Abuse in Later Life: Learn about some unique aspects of the problem.
  • Am I a Mandated Reporter?: Listed below are links to resources developed by the Virginia Department of Social Services to help clarify whether you are considered a mandated reporter for adult abuse. Mandated reporters are required to share with the local department of social services records and information related to any report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation regardless of who made the report.
  • Faith Based Community Resources: The FaithTrust Institute
    • FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith organization working to end sexual and domestic violence. They provide communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. FaithTrust Institute works with many communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander, Buddhist, Jewish, Latino/a, Muslim, Black, Anglo, Indigenous, Protestant and Roman Catholic.