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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the findings of this research. A research paper was published in October 2021 highlighting results of freedom of information…
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the findings of this research. A research paper was published in October 2021 highlighting results of freedom of information (FOI) requests sent to National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in England. The FOI requests asked for the number of incidents of sexual assault reported by hospitals where the victim was aged over 60 and the alleged perpetrator was a member of staff.
The methodology involved sending FOI requests to all 206 NHS hospital Trusts in England requesting information on reported incidents of sexual assault against patients over 60 years old from 2016/17 to 20/21, where the alleged perpetrator was a member of staff (including agency staff). Along with the number of reports, the FOI request also asked for the sex of the victim and alleged perpetrator, whether the incident was reported to police, the outcome of the police investigation and whether any internal disciplinary processes were followed.
Of the hospitals that responded with some data (others were nil return), 56 individual reports meeting the criteria of the FOI were identified. A further 19 hospitals advised that they held reports of such incidents but, under general data protection regulations, they were unable to disclose exact numbers, but they were less than 5, some hospitals said less than 10, so the research can only count one for each of these. The resulting findings are that there were at least 75 reports of sexual assault on patients over 60 by hospital staff in the past five years. The findings also show that whilst the majority of victims were female, 30% were male and that a disappointing number were reported to police – only 16. Of these, 14 were closed as “No Further Action” by the police.
Whilst there has been some research into sexual violence against older people, most notably by Dr Hannah Bows, the issue of sexual assault happening whilst in hospital perpetrated by hospital staff has not been studied.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the issue of carers as victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. The issue of carers as victims, and sometimes perpetrators, of…
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the issue of carers as victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. The issue of carers as victims, and sometimes perpetrators, of domestic abuse is being overlooked by statutory organisations because they often do not fit the traditional patterns of abusive relationships, and the complexities of the caring role can make typical safety options unsuitable. However, caring responsibilities are a feature of an increasing number of domestic homicide reviews, and current statutory safeguarding options exclude most carers from support and risk not identifying perpetrators.
This short paper highlights some of the shortfalls around identifying the needs of carer victims/survivors of domestic abuse and carer-perpetrators of domestic abuse and explores ways in which identification and support could be improved.
Carers as victims/survivors of domestic abuse, and as abusers, is an issue that requires more attention from researchers and Adult Social Care, NHS, Carer Support Organisations and Domestic Abuse specialists need to work together to explore these issues and offer workable options.
Little data or research exists around carers as victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Bridget Penhale and Margaret Flynn