Since past few weeks I was trying to keep myself occupied and wanted to divert my mind out of relationship issue and parental alienation that, I having been going through since quite some months. I came across a very interesting topic of “Elder Abuse” which just baffled me, and that’s the exact source after which I thought to write up this article…
I, quote below some of the points mentioned as the results of the survey…
- In 2014 the % of elders abused went up drastically from 23% in the previous year to 50%.
- Verbal Abuse (41%), Disrespect (33%) and Neglect (29%) are ranked as the most common types of abuse experienced by the elderly. These three types of abuse are also the same as cited in previous years and also are in consonance with the general perception among elderly.
- 46% reported facing abuse for 3-5 years, while 25% reported 1-2 years. Sadly, 4% of the elderly reported to be facing abuse for more than 15 years. This year the number of people who are admitting to suffer abuse for 3-5 years has jumped to 46% as against 28% the previous years
- Elders across cities were asked about the abusers within their family. The Daughter-in-law (61%) and Son (59%) emerged as the topmost perpetrators. This is a trend that is continuing from the previous years. Not surprisingly, 77% of those surveyed, live with their families.
Now, let’s pay attention to the points mentioned in bold go through each and every point and make some sense out of it.
- Elder Abuse shooting up to 50% it does indicates an unsettling future for India’s elderly, it’s literally is a menace, We know it’s a big problem; we’ve even heard it’s a crisis. But most of us, especially in middle class and lower middle class Indian family, insist that this is something that is not done in our “family”.
- Verbal Abuse, Disrespect & Neglect are the most common abuses faced by elderly people, while abuse has gone up, a trend that is continuing from the previous years and the factors which comes out is the fact that these elders are living with their family in a typical joint family setup.
- Increase in 22% of Elders who started facing issue in last 3-5 years, translated to simple language means that now-a-days has ignoring parents-in-law in their old age by harassing, assaulting and abusing become the latest fashion? Elders surveyed says that they have experienced some kind of abuse or the other, usually from family members which bring me to that last point.
But this point is what depresses me most and which is most alarming it says Daughter-in-law (61%) and Son (59%) emerged as the topmost perpetrators now, let’s have a look at another report of HelpAge India “ELDER ABUSE & CRIME IN INDIA” to understand why % DIL perpetrators is higher, reports says that One third (31%) of the elderly need assistance from anyone for daily routine activities with more than half (52%) are dependent on daughter-in-law in those cases the dependency may be in help in sharing household work or medical attention would be the a major factors including other factors such as Two third (66%) of the elderly are financially dependent on others (Read “SON”, we are in India), Majority (85%) of the elderly reported being dependent for medical expenditure while three fourth (75%) for daily living expenditure which in Indian Society is by default a role of “Men” or say “Son” in India i.e to be protector and provider of family.
While it’s an established fact that higher % of perpetrators of “Elder Abuse” are Daughter-In-Laws but what is more worrying is that 20% has also reported “Daughter” as the abuser, I guess still someone would come up with a “Fancy” statement that this is old data and it’s no more the case isn’t it? Hey!!!! Hold onto to your guns, there is some more to it lets look at the report of HelpAge India published in 2015 “A YOUTH PERSPECTIVE ON ELDER ABUSE” which has a very fresh perspective to abuse from today’s youth and it says
- 34.7% youth perceive the primary abuser to be the daughter-in-law and 23% perceive it to be the son.
- However, while talking of their real life experience, the daughter-in-law percentage rises to 50.2%, a significant jump, while the Son retains his status closer to perception with 28%.
- 52% men respondent ascribe daughter in law as the abuser compared to same by women 48.5%, the differential is not very high.
- 20% also mentioned the daughter as an abuser (It reminds of Smt. Maneka Gandhi’s statement “All violence is MALE Generated”)
Considering above reports it’s very clear that abuse by “Daughter-In-Law” is a “FACT” something which has been growing day-by-day and is silently ignored by the Government of India, there is no social and physical security for elders. They have to live with abusive daughter-in-laws or daughter and bare the rude language and behavior or get threatened to be thrown out on the streets or old age home if they complain. The Domestic Violence Act 2005 covers a woman in domestic relation which technically covers abuse towards Mother & Mother-In-Law but for those 52% Father & Father-In-Law GOI thinks its fine to let them suffer and intents not to protect them with any laws (sad) so they doesn’t even have a single legal remedy for such abusive Daughter or DILs. Most (98%) of the elderly reported not filing a complaint against abuse faced, Infact our police stations and courts hardly take cases which are logged by Mother and Mother-In-Law under DV act which makes me say that The Domestic Violence Act 2005 must be amended urgently to bring “Elderly Abuse” in its ambit and to be made Gender Neutral. Apart from that state must build social security system to support elders in their own homes. Elder abuse is a fact and cannot be tackled without strong policy measures. It will become worse and worse with in coming years because of changing demographics and life styles
To all these DILs: I will live to see the day when you face the exact similar situation (because of your own kids) in a few years from now.
Report on Elder Abuse in India (2014)
ELDER ABUSE & CRIME IN INDIA
A YOUTH PERSPECTIVE ON ELDER ABUSE
Disclaimer : The contents of the blog are personal opinion and view of the writer. Vaastav Foundation does not hold any responsibility for the contents of the same. Vaastav Foundation promotes Family Harmony and Peace and believes in Equal Human Rights and is against gender discrimination and law misuse