New guidance on teen and elderly abuse

The Crown Prosecution Service is to introduce new guidelines for handling cases of domestic abuse among the elderly and teenagers. The draft guidance claims that growing older can lead to exclusion or isolation, making a victim more vulnerable to abuse. It goes on to state that, as well as mental or physical frailty, other factors such as stress brought on by caring for ill partners, or events later in life such as retirement, can lead to increased domestic abuse against elderly victims.

For younger victims, prosecutors will be advised to consider abusive relationships in the context of gang membership, as well as non-physical threats via mobile phones and social media.

The guidance, which is not yet law but has just opened for public consultation, notes that people’s experiences of domestic abuse change as they get older. It says the intensity of abuse may be greater among pensioners because they may feel less able to escape or to get help as they are dependent on their abuser. The guidance notes that research has shown that abusive relationships often intensify during retirement, as partners spend more time at home together…

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