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Media opportunity: Dalhousie University project looks at interventions to help older women experiencing intimate partner violence
They are often an overlooked segment of the population, yet deal with sometimes chronic abuse with limited resources to support them.
It is estimated that between 15 and 30 per cent of women who are middle-aged or older experience intimate partner violence (IPV) at some point in their lives, a figure that many experts suggest is far lower than the true number.
In a study of coroners’ files of homicide by individuals aged 65 or older, 89 per cent of the victims were female and, of those, 93 per cent were current or former spouses of male perpetrators.
Given that many services may not be appropriate for older womens' unique needs, a team led by researchers from Dalhousie University and the University of New Brunswick has launched a project aimed at finding the best way to support this group.
Dr. Lori Weeks, a gerontologist in Dal's School of Nursing, is one of the leads of the study that involves a virtual intervention for women experiencing domestic violence over about 12 weeks, as well as testing to see if the interventions make a difference.
Dr. Weeks and her team received almost $600,000 in funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which will be used to recruit and train six researchers in the Maritimes to deliver the video or phone intervention. Data will be collected over nine months to measure the impact of the program.
Dr. Weeks is available to discuss the project and how the findings will provide important information on how to help older women experiencing domestic violence often in the shadows.
Senior Research Reporter
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