Violence and abuse often occur within the immediate family. However, violence against older women in families is still a taboo topic and professionals who work in community health and social services are often the only persons who have access to the target group. The purpose of this article is to describe research results and a training course developed within two linked European projects.
Both projects were divided into a research and a practical phase. In the first project, data were gathered via a literature review and interviews with health and social services staff. Additionally, a short survey of health and social services organisations, about what provisions they had for dealing with abuse against older women within families, was conducted. In Breaking the Taboo Two, research on existing training material for health care staff concerning violence against older women within families was carried out. Analysis of this material formed the basis for designing a two‐day training workshop for staff members in nine modules on aspects like defining and recognizing violence as well as intervention, cooperating with other organisations and caring for oneself.
A total of 14 trial workshops were carried out in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia in September and October 2011. The target groups ranged from nurses, home helps, care assistants and social workers to Red Cross volunteers from visiting services and crisis intervention. It was established that the topic is very relevant to the participants' work; however, it became clear that this is a very sensitive topic and participants need time to be able to talk openly about such sensitive issues. It also became clear that offering such workshops is an important pillar in developing service providers' policies and procedures concerning violence against older women and can contribute well to networking in this field.
No specific training courses on violence against older women for staff of health and social services could be found until now. This article highlights two projects that deal with raising awareness and training in this field. It also includes findings from a number of European countries that participated in the projects and combines findings gained from research and practical experience.
Strümpel, C. and Hackl, C. (2011), "The Breaking the Taboo projects – raising awareness of, and training staff in, community health and care services on violence against older women within families", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 323-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/14668201111194230Download as .RIS
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