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Barriers to disclosure

Barriers to disclosure

Barriers to disclosure

Many elder abuse victims feel that they can’t let anyone know about their abuse. Reasons may include:

  • Fear of more abuse
  • Shame or humiliation
  • Blame
  • Loss of affection or love for abuser
  • Concerned about repercussions
  • Family loyalty
  • Fear of being moved out of home
  • May not realise that abuse is occurring
  • Threats from perpetrator
  • Not being aware of options and resources
  • Only alternative accommodation may be residential care
  • Loss of entire social network
  • Impairment
  • Guilt
  • Not able to leave the home to disclose the abuse
  • Potential loss of relationships with adult children or grandchildren.


Women who are victims/survivors of abuse, may have additional issues such as:

  • A strong sense of identity being a ‘carer’ and minimising their own needs
  • Not wanting to leave because ‘marriage is for life’
  • Staying for the sake of the children
  • A lack of financial resources due to family caring roles
  • Religious beliefs regarding family relationships
  • Fear of losing home and property
  • The perpetrator and family members being the victim’s only social contacts.