Women and Children’s Horizon’s has realized for some time that abuse in later life is a tragedy that impacts older adults of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, social classes, geographic areas, faith communities, mental capacities, and physical abilities. Abuse can be:
Controlling relationships = Abusive relationships
When there is abuse, one person uses power and control to get what they want out of the relationship. The victim is not seen as an equal in the relationship. There may or may not be physical abuse in the relationship, but the threat of harm is always present.
Older adults often experience:
The controlling person in your life may be:
Abusers can be very persuasive and manipulative individuals, often trying to convince family, friends and social workers that they are only trying to help. Abusive individuals rarely take responsibility for their actions.
Some tactics an abuser/controller may use to maintain control in the relationship:
If you feel you are deprived, isolated or punished call Beverly Sorensen at Women and Children’s Horizons for more information and support (262) 656-3500.
There is an Abuse in Later Life program that has a support group for women in mid-life or women with disabilities.
Sexual violence is an act (verbal and/or physical), which violates a person’s trust and/or safety, and is sexual in nature. The term “sexual violence” includes:
Perpetrators of sexual assault against older adults can be anyone. Often the offender is someone that the victim knows:
Effects of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can cause harmful, psychological, physical, and behavioral effects. If the sexual abuse is left unaddressed, these effects can potentially be very damaging to the individual. Some of the effects are:
A victim’s recovery really begins when they first address the issue of the assault. You need not report the offense to law enforcement to receive services from Women and Children’s Horizons. The most important factors affecting a person’s recovery is feeling supported, safe, and realizing it’s not your fault. Please call Beverly Sorensen at Women and Children’s Horizons (262) 656-3500 for more information.
People with disabilities are vulnerable to the types of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse experienced by people without disabilities
Some additional types of abuse:
YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE THREATENED OR HIT!
Try to prepare as much as you can before an explosive incident by:
People with disabilities have the right to be free from abuse. If you feel you are deprived, isolated, or punished call Women and Children’s Horizon to talk to an advocate. People with disabilities are more likely to be abused for a longer duration and usually by more than one person. Help is offered through crisis counseling, hotline crisis calls, support groups, emergency shelter, and accompanying clients through legal proceeding as it relates to abuse.
Sexual violence is an act (verbal and or physical, which violates a person’s trust and/or safety, and is sexual in nature. Sexual contact becomes assault when a person is unable to consent to an activity, does not consent, and/or when a service provider engages in sexual contact with a client.
People with disabilities experience similar forms of overt and covert sexual assault and abuse as people without disabilities (e.g., rape, incest, forced, unwanted or disguised touching, exposure to or making pornography, sexual harassment, sexual trafficking, unwanted sexual jokes, or innuendoes, and any other unwanted sexual contact or activity). All sexual assault victims experience difficulties with trust, safety and relationships.
People with disabilities may have high risk factors for:
Abuse is never a victims fault. If you feel you have been violated Women and Children’s Horizons offers free and confidential services, such as:
Women and Children’s Horizons emergency shelter is wheelchair accessible, and has an accessible bedroom with accessible bathroom. Caretakers are allowed to visit to take care of your needs.
To explore your options and get emotional support please call Beverly Sorensen during office hours at (262)656-3500. Office hours are from 8:30am to 5:00pm.For after office hours call the crisis line at (262)652-9900 or 1-(800)-853-3503.