The Government Delegation for Gender Violence, under the Office of the Vice President of the Government, Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Equality, has presented the results of a study on women over 65 who are victims of gender violence that reveals that the 40% have suffered violence for more than 40 years and 27%, between 20 and 30 years. The study has been carried out in compliance with the measures established in the State Pact against Gender Violence.

The results have been obtained from a survey of 245 victims of gender violence users of the Atenpro Service and has been conducted by the Spanish Red Cross with the support of the Carlos III University of Madrid. The objective is to evaluate the factors that determine their special vulnerability in order to design measures and actions that contribute to the detection of cases and facilitate victims' access to specialized resources.

According to the study's conclusions, older women experience gender discrimination to a greater extent than young women, and age discrimination to a greater extent than older men. This double discrimination is at the base of the invisibility of gender violence against older women.

Violence suffered

40% of the victims have suffered violence for more than 40 years and 27%, between 20 and 30 years. It should also be noted that 56% of the women surveyed said they had sex against their will for fear of the abuser and six out of ten have suffered economic violence. The abuser, as reflected in this section, prevented them from making decisions related to the family economy, 55% of women did not receive money for household expenses, 41% said that they appropriated their money, 34% of the women say they were not allowed to work or study outside the home and 31% appropriated their assets.

98% of women are afraid and eight out of ten said that the abuser ignored them and treated them with indifference and applied mechanisms of control and isolation.

On the other hand, the study also reflects that 70% of the sons and daughters of the interviewees have witnessed attacks, and three out of ten were also victims of attacks, insults, contempt and intimidation.

As for the reasons why the women interviewed reported having remained in the relationship with the abuser are diverse: 35% admitted having been afraid of being killed, three out of ten indicate that this type of violence was accepted by society at that time, and 13% said that no complaints were admitted for this reason. 32% say they did it for their sons and daughters. The study also shows that 20% had not revealed to anyone in their environment the violence they suffered.

It is also worth mentioning that 46% of the women interviewed consider that the risk of their ex-partner committing a new aggression against them is high or very high, 28% indicate a moderate risk and 26% consider it low or very low.

Finally, the quantitative and qualitative analysis emphasizes that a profile of the abuser who responds to sociodemographic or economic levels cannot be established.

Sample characteristics

98% of older women participating in the study have Spanish nationality, the majority with a medium-low level of education and live in rural settings. 60% of respondents reside in a small city, rural municipality or isolated village; 27% in a medium-sized city or in a peri-urban environment and 13%, in a city with more than 500,000 inhabitants. Likewise, of the 245 respondents, 52% are divorced and 27% are separated.

The study also reflects that 39% of respondents consider their health status to be regular, while 31% define it as bad or very bad. This perception about their health exceeds the average of the general female population of the same age by 5 percentage points. As for his mood, seven out of ten feel sadness and anxiety or anguish.

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