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IN RECOGNITION OF WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY – RELEVANCE TO NAMIBIA

The purpose of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is to raise awareness of elder abuse throughout the world. There is little discussion about the incidence of elderly abuse in Namibia. However we would like to bring people's attention to the following findings from our forthcoming report Seeking Safety:

• One in ten people who apply for a protection order are over the age of fifty.
• Violence between a parent and child or grandparentgrandchild is the second largest relationship between complainant and respondent after intimate partner relationships.
• Within this group, there are more cases of violence by a child/grandchild against a parent/grandparent than a parent/grandparent against a child
• The study showed that elderly people who applied for protection orders requested provisions such as no communication, custody of grandchildren, limitations of access by the abuser to grandchildren and temporary maintenance.

The data illustrates the fact that domestic violence affects people of all ages. The Combating of Domestic Violence Act states that if you are over the age of 21 but for some reason are unable to make an application for a protection order in person, someone else can do that on your behalf provided that this person has your written consent. This might be useful for an elderly person who may find it difficult to travel to the court to make the application. The person who helps could be anyone who is having an interest in the well-being of the person being abused, such as a friend, family member, pastor or social worker.
“Often, these older people are asked for money and if it is not given then physical violence is used.”
A comment by a clerk of the court

 

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