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Elder Sexual Abuse and the Family

  • By: Bert Hayslip Jr & Kyle S. Page
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Despite its potential negative impact on not only older persons who are victims of abuse but also their families, the topic of elder abuse has generated comparatively little scientific attention relative to child abuse. Rather than use the preferred term elder mistreatment, in the present case, in this discussion the term elder sexual abuse is used. As with most forms of elder mistreatment, it is likely that available estimates are inaccurate for sexual abuse (it is widely cited as being the least common form of elder mistreatment), in part because of the differing criteria that professionals use to define elder mistreatment as well as older persons' reluctance in reporting sexual abuse, especially if it is intrafamilial in nature. The myth of a lack of sexuality ...

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