The Numbers are Striking
According to a survey, 20 percent of the total elder population in the United States has suffered from some kind of abuse. The figure can go beyond 20 percent because almost every five out of six cases go unreported. Usually, the elders suffer from abuse at the hands of their immediate family members, for example, the spouse or an adult child.
The laws of different states of the United States are stringent for domestic abuse cases. If the victim belongs to the elderly population by any chance, then the perpetrator will have to face grave consequences in the form of penalties and charges. Domestic violence cases have spiked up during the Covid 19 pandemic, but one cannot ignore the violence against elders, which has also become a widespread problem.
To control the increasing violence against senior citizens, almost all the states of America have classified it as a separate division of crime. Domestic violence is not always related to women victims, so many people might confuse the elder abuse incident as a domestic violence case.
There are some similarities between both domestic violence and elder abuse cases, but certain aspects classify them into two separate categories. If any of the family members such as a spouse, child, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces are being harassed by someone who is a part of their family, it would be considered a domestic violence case.
If someone aged 65 or above is being sexually, physically, mentally, or even financially abused, it comes under the category of elder abuse. In short, the main distinguishing factor between both domestic violence and senior citizen abuse is age. Also, in domestic violence cases, the abuser is related to the survivor and is a part of the family. On the contrary, senior citizens can be tortured and harassed by their nursing attendants, caregivers, or even by a total stranger.
Mental Health is a Major Factor
Most elder abuse incidents happen because the aged people suffer from some sort of mental or physical illness which makes them dependent on other people. Generally, the person who has the responsibility to take care of the basic needs of a senior citizen gets stressed financially and emotionally. The resentment and exhaustion can make the caretaker abusive and violent towards the older person.
Whenever a harassment or abuse incident happens, the court looks into all the aspects before deciding what kind of felony or misdemeanor the alleged abuser is going to face. Sometimes there is an overlap between domestic violence and elder abuse cases; for example, if someone is involved in verbally harassing and hitting one of his/her grandparents, then the prosecutor might classify verbal harassment as domestic violence and physical assault as elder abuse.
There are strict penalties for both crimes, but usually, if someone is convicted of committing domestic violence and elder abuse, then he/she will not be sentenced on double charges. There is more likelihood of being charged with elder abuse than domestic violence if both incidents have been known to occur.
It is not easy to handle domestic violence and elder abuse charges, especially if someone has a complicated relationship with his/her elders. An uncontrollable disagreement with an elder can be perceived in the court as domestic violence or elder abuse if the victim reports it.
Suppose someone feels like he/she is wrongly convicted of domestic violence or elder abuse. In that case, it is necessary to hire an experienced prosecutor who can help fight his/her legal battle. Having strong self-defense is very important in such cases because multiple penalties and charges can negatively impact your life.
All that remains is to find a lawyer. Our law firm provides the advisory services you need, in addition to safety networks that’ll safeguard you from further problems.
There’s nothing more to wait for. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you change your life for the better.