What is elder sexual abuse?

Elder sexual abuse is when a person over the age of 60 does not give consent to sexual contact. Any time a person is persuaded, manipulated, or forced to do a sexual activity, sexual violence has occurred. In 2009, 11% of elders reported to experiencing at last one form of elder abuse: sexual, financial, emotional, or physical according to the National Institute of Justice. The NIJ also reports that “the risk of elder mistreatment is higher for individuals with the following characteristics: low household income, unemployed or retired, reporting poor health, having experienced a prior traumatic event or reporting low levels of social support,”.

Elder sexual abuse mostly occurs in the home of the elder. Abusers are often relatives of the elder such as a child, grandchild, niece/nephew. Another common place for elder sexual abuse to occur is in nursing or assisted living homes. In this situation abusers are commonly staff members of the living homes or residents of the nursing home assaulting other residents of the nursing home.

For more information on ending elder sexual abuse in our community, click here to view a STSM blog post on elder sexual abuse.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of elder abuse, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.