Shocking stats show abuse of elderly is on the up in Spain

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ELDER ABUSE: Figures have risen by 22 per cent since 2011. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

ATTACKS on elderly people in the family home have risen by 22 per cent since 2011, with 4,398 reported assaults in Spain last year.

And the National Police figures show the most violent incidents occurred in Andalucia.

In response to the shocking statistics, a parliamentary spokesperson said that the increase in the number of complaints of ‘inter-family abuse’ could also be attributed to a decrease in the ‘black figure’ of this type of violence, which now has greater visibility, rather than just more incidents.

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The report shows that in 2001, there were 3,603 elderly victims of abuse. A year later 3,605 reports were made, rising to 3,820 in 2013 and 3,933 in 2014.

Within 12 months the figure had soared to 4,316, dropping to 4,098 in 2016, and up to 4,396 a year later.

Andalucia saw the greatest number of violent incidents in 2017, with 1,146 attacks, followed by the community of Madrid where there were 739 recorded assaults, a 52 per cent rise in six years.

In Valencia there was a 32.3 per cent hike in complaints from 548 to 725, and in the Murcia region, police dealt with 193 complaints, a 45 per cent increase since 2011.

A sixth of the Spanish population of 46.5 million are over retirement age, which represents 8.7 million people.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), elder abuse is defined as ‘a single or repeated act that causes harm or suffering to an elderly person, or the lack of appropriate measures to prevent it, which occurs in a relationship based on confidence, whether physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or economic’. It also recognises that abuse of the elderly is an ‘important public health problem’.

In a recent study by the Guardia Civil, it was reported that the main crimes committed against people over 65, are robberies, thefts and mistreatment.

 

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