New project in Redcar targets reduction in violence against older women
A unique new project aimed at supporting older victims of domestic and sexual violence has been launched in the North East.
EVA Women’s Aid’s 45+ project is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to provide targeted support to older women who are less likely to report abuse.
The project is the latest in a raft of initiatives by the 27-year-old charity, based in Redcar High Street, which includes two safe-houses for women fleeing abuse.
It is hoped EVA will be able to provide a third property, specifically for older women, after the 45+ project received major backing from Northern Rock Foundation last week.
Richinda Taylor, CEO of EVA, said: “It is often assumed that domestic violence is mainly experienced by younger women and older women's experiences can be considered ‘elder abuse.’
“This in itself is a barrier to disclosure and sadly older women experience many more barriers, compared with younger women, and can be even more reluctant to report violence.
“We are also finding that some older women are locked into a cycle of abuse that first started when public attitudes were very different and might not know any different.
“We have already supported many older women but we recognise that women of different ages need different packages of support, despite suffering all too similar abuses.”
Women over the age of 45 make up 22% of the national population but are known to be a group who under-report sexual and domestic violence and abuse.
However, in Redcar and Cleveland 25% of the population are women aged 45 or older and it is feared that the situation could be exacerbated.
Richinda added: “This statistic suggests there is an even greater proportion of women in Redcar and Cleveland who may be routinely experiencing domestic and sexual violence and an even greater need for a service like this one.”