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JAP editorial 24.5/6
Welcome to this final issue of 2022. As this Editorial is in preparation, the FIFA World Cup has just commenced, along with some degree of furore about associated human rights concerns and the unenviable human rights record of the host country Qatar. Quite how this will play out during the course of the coming weeks remains to be seen, but previous locations of the World Cup, such as Russia and China, which also had some understandable focus on the human rights records in those countries, does not necessarily give rise to hope that such matters will be dealt with as a result of the increased global focus for a period of time. In the UK, despite recent changes in government (Prime Minister and Cabinet), there continue to be significant concerns and allegations about corruption and the behaviour of ministers, including bullying of staff. There are also a number of MPs (more than 50) who have been referred to the parliamentary watchdog in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct, but comparatively little external attention or publicity appears to be given to this situation.
In this issue, we are pleased to present four international papers about different aspects of adult protection and safeguarding. The first paper of this new issue is a research paper by Al-Rantisi from Palestine. The paper considers the effects of measures taken by the Palestinian Government during the pandemic crisis to mitigate the impact of situations of gender-based violence (GBV). The study involved qualitative interviews with 25 survivors who experienced GBV during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Participants reported on the types of violence that they had experienced during this period and then provided their perspectives on the effectiveness of measures taken by the government to deal with GBV in the context of the lockdown that had been implemented to reduce the spread of the viral pandemic. Some interesting observations are contained in the paper about the impact(s) of intervention strategies and policies and the need for further development in this area.
This is followed by a research paper by Ahmad and colleagues from Pakistan that considers gender-related issues in relation to inherited land rights. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with 16 women who had been deprived of their inherited land and also, interviews with 11 lawyers who were expert in dealing with property-related issues, to explore the dynamics underlying such abuse. The thematic analysis of the interview data that was undertaken determined five main themes that were related to the possible causes of such deprivation of rights. The convergence between themes from both survivors and legal experts was relatively strong. The paper also makes several recommendations about suitable remedies for resolution of this issue.
The third paper of this issue is a viewpoint paper by Altakhainen and colleague Zibin from Jordan that contains an assessment of GBV in relation to structural dimensions. The paper consists of two main points – an examination of strategies of intervention and prevention of GBV by staff from relevant NGOs and the reliability of data used in the construction of policies developed to deal with GBV together with a discussion of factors in addition to gender (e.g. age or disability) that might contribute to a person’s vulnerability to violence and abuse. The paper suggests a need for the use of more holistic approaches to tackling GBV and the development of inclusive, cross-cutting and intersectional approaches to assisting survivors.
The final paper in this issue is a research paper by Yan and colleagues from Hong Kong. The study explored issues concerning the potential for resilience to act as a protective factor in relation to elder abuse, within the context of Hong Kong. The study consisted of a survey of a purposive sample of 600 caregivers in Hong Kong, who were asked questions about various aspects of caregiving, including experiences of burden, behaviours of the person that they cared for and social support. Analytical findings established that resilience of the carer was predictive of lower levels of emotional, verbal and physical abuse and financial exploitation. Experience of burden and problematic behaviours on the part of the care recipient were clearly indicated as risk factors for elder abuse. The findings relating to social support and self-efficacy of carers were mixed, leading to a suggestion that further research is needed about these factors. Overall, the findings on resilience strongly suggest that strengthening resilience should be included as a major element of interventions to counteract abusive situations. In addition, actions to reduce the experiences of burden and behaviours that are difficult to manage could potentially reduce or even prevent such abuse from occurring. This is a paper that offers useful suggestions and recommendations about the importance and need for effective forms of support for caregivers so that in future elder abuse might be prevented.
As we have stated in previous editorials, we hope that you will find items of interest in this issue and that some of these will be useful for both your safeguarding work and more general interests. We are always interested to receive contributions for consideration and would like to invite readers to continue to contribute papers in relation to safeguarding and COVID-19, as well as other aspects of adult safeguarding, including the lived experience of safeguarding situations and processes. If you are potentially interested and wish to discuss this before working on a submission, do get in touch with one of the editorial team to discuss further. Our contact details are contained on the journal Web page on the Emerald publishing website or alternatively found on the cover of the journal, so please do get in touch if/as necessary. Finally, we hope that everyone is continuing to stay safe and well and that the year’s end will be fruitful for everyone. We look forward to providing future issues of the journal in the coming year.
About the author
Bridget Penhale is based at the School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.