Overgrep mot eldre i nære relasjoner og politiets rolle
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Over the past decades, domestic violence, violence against women and child abuse has received much attention, both in the media, in political discourse and in social research. Abuse of the elderly however, arouses limited interest. Both in government action against domestic violence and in police guidance manuals the elderly receive little attention. Regarding abuse in close and familial relationships many of the same problems arise for the elderly as for younger people. The pain associated with being pestered and bothered over time by someone close to you is probably not so different across the various age groups. The older part of the population seems however to be particularly vulnerable to abusive relationships – taking age, health, and dependency on assistance into consideration. The ability to secede and reestablish decreases with increasing age. The elderly are also often dependent on help from the abuser. In addition, the elderly are exposed to abuse from their own children and grandchildren. For many victims it is almost impossible to detach oneself from the relationship with one's own children, and in general it is probably more difficult than detachment from one's own spouse. Ties to children are particularly strong. This is probably a central reason why abuse of the elderly is one of the most hidden and difficult forms of violence in the population.