Help seeking behaviour of abused older women: Cases of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Lithuania and Portugal

Ilona Tamutiene, Liesbeth De Donder, Bridget Penhale, Gert Lang, José Ferreira-Alves, Minna-Liisa Luoma

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This article based on a recent European study examines the subjective consequences of abuse against older women and their help seeking behavior. In 2010, survey data concerning experiences of abuse in domestic settings were collected from 2,880 older women across five European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, Lithuania, and Portugal). The results of the study indicated that overall 30.1% of older women reported at least one experience of abuse in the past year. Less than half of the victims talked about it in the informal setting or reported it to any formal agency. An ecological framework is used to explain factors influencing women’s decisions to seek help. Some consequences of abuse (anger, tension, sleeping difficulties, and concentration difficulties), type of abuse (physical abuse and violation of personal rights), higher abuse intensity, and density are connected with positive help seeking behaviours. Victims abused by current partners or a spouse were more passive to seek help.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalFilosofija Sociologija
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • older women
  • domestic abuse
  • help seeking
  • Europe

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