Older women and domestic abuse: emerging from lockdown

30 June 2021

Older women and domestic abuse

As we begin to emerge from Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, the team here at Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid want to assure women of all ages that we are here to support them in the way that suits them best and that they are most comfortable with.

We know that domestic abuse has no age limit, and that older women are just as vulnerable to domestic abuse as younger women. For some older women, the abuse may be a characteristic of a new relationship started in later life. In others, the abuse may have begun years or even decades ago. 

We know from our years of working with older women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, that many of the issues they face are common to all women. We also understand that older women often have specific needs which could be physical, social or cultural. We recognise that older women may face more barriers to disclosure than younger women, such as mobility issues, disability, age-related conditions and abuse from adult children.

Emerging from lockdown

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand that older women may have become dependent on their abuser out of necessity or simply by being locked in with them most of the time. They may be socially isolated or lack support, both of which may be risk factors for abuse. Limited contact from friends and family to protect them during the lockdowns has also meant that women likely have had fewer people to talk to about the abuse they are experiencing at home.

Furthermore, lockdowns themselves have been isolating and have undoubtedly caused mental health and emotional wellbeing challenges, which in turn can make emerging from lockdown even harder to face.

We want to ensure that women of all ages who are facing barriers to support that we are here to help. Here at Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid we have a range of highly-trained staff who specialise in a range of age groups, including workers who are passionate about supporting older women.

Many of our support services are tailored to older women’s needs, and we can help by providing emotional and practical support in a safe and supportive environment. We always go at your pace – you will never be pressured into doing or saying anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

We can support all women with:

Find out more about what we do and how we can support you here.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, reach out for support. You can call us on 028 90666049, email us on support@belfastwomensaid.org.uk or chat to us by clicking the speech bubble on the right-hand side of your screen now.

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