A Crime at Any Age: Intimate Partner Abuse in Later Life

A Crime at Any Age: Intimate Partner Abuse in Later Life

Intimate partner abuse (IPA) is a problem that affects millions of women across the United States every year. Traditionally, strategies designed to help victims and reduce IPA have tended to focus on women of childbearing age. However, older women who experience abuse at the hands of male partners are often left out of the conversation. Usually grouped with family violence (which may involve abuse by adult children or other caregivers), elder IPA has received short shrift in the social science and legal literature. This Note explores in depth the unique problem of IPA among older women, which is often a continuation of the cycle of abuse begun much earlier in the couples’ lives, and proposes solutions that include restorative justice, elder-ready domestic violence shelters, and expanded protection under California’s Welfare and Institutions Code.

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