​Elder abuse and help-seeking behavior in elderly Chinese

Author(s) Yan, Elsie
Title Elder abuse and help-seeking behavior in elderly Chinese
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence; October 2014 published online before print; p1-26
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
CoverageHong Kong
Summary For the study 40 participants who were victims of elder abuse aged 60 or above and who spoke Mandarin or Cantonese were recruited from a crisis service in Hong Kong that focused on providing care and support to victims of elder abuse. The majority of the participants reported psychological abuse and/or physical abuse. Although most participants demonstrated some understanding of what elder abuse was, only half labelled their own experience as abusive. Patterns of help-seeking behaviours were explored and it was found that many participants only sought help when the abuse became so serious they could not cope any longer. Barriers to seeking help were also explored and cultural considerations were seen as an important barrier, including the importance of social harmony and belief in fate. Another interesting result was that many of the respondents felt they would do nothing if asked for advice by an acquaintance experiencing abuse as they saw that as interfering in a person's family business. Recommendations are made for outreach and service facilities to be developed in Hong Kong that specifically address the needs and sensitivities of the elderly victims of abuse.
Keywords Elder abuse; Chinese; cultural contexts; disclosure; help-seeking; domestic violence
Topic Elder abuse