Join for Just $16 A Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- Free membership for your spouse or partner
The women's movement of the 1970s led not only to greater recognition of domestic violence and other forms of abuse of adults, but also to research into the factors in the wider society that perpetuate abusive attitudes and behaviors. As of 2002, women are still more likely than men to be the targets of abuse in adult life.
Domestic violence refers to the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of a spouse or domestic partner. Early research into the problem of wife battering focused on middle-class couples, but it has since been recognized that spouse abuse occurs among wealthy professional couples as well. In addition, studies done in the late 1980s and 1990s indicate that domestic violence also occurs among gay and lesbian couples. It is estimated that four million women in the United States are involved in abusive marriages or relationships; moreover, most female murder victims are killed by their spouse or partner rather than by strangers.
Domestic violence illustrates the tendency of abusive people to attack anyone they perceive as vulnerable; most men who batter women also abuse their children; some battered women abuse their children; and abusive humans are frequently cruel to animals.
Elder abuse has also become a subject of national concern in the last two decades. As older adults are living longer, many become dependent for years on adult caregivers, who may be either their own adult children or nursing home personnel. Care of the elderly can be extremely stressful, especially if the older adult is suffering from dementia. Elder abuse may include physical hitting or slapping; withholding their food or medications; tying them to their chair or bed; neglecting to bathe them or help them to the toilet; taking their personal possessions, including money or property; and restricting or cutting off their contacts with friends and relatives.
Author Info: Rebecca J. Frey h.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, 2003This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
Member access to health and insurance products and services at AARPhealthcare.com.
Members can get an instant quote with AARP® Dental Insurance administered by Delta Dental Insurance Company.
Members can save on eyewear with AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed.
Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.