A recent study at the University of Southern California has found that an alarming rate of elder abuse among Spanish-speaking elders has gone unreported. In the past year, over 40% of interviewed Latino elders said they had been neglected or abused, and over 98% of them did not report their abuse. Within the group of elders who had been abused, 10.7% said they had been physically abused, 17% had been financially abused, and almost 12% suffered from caregiver abuse.
These statistics are worrisome both because they point to a growing incidence of elder abuse, and also because they suggest reluctance on the part of victims to report abuse and seek help. Researchers who led this study suggest that limited English proficiency and cultural norms may contribute to the low rates of reported abuse.
Yet, under-reported elder abuse is a problem across all demographics of the elder population. Most senior victims of elder abuse do not report the abuse because of fear, embarrassment, or emotional manipulation on the part of the abuser. But the most important thing to do if you believe you or an elder loved one has been the victim of abuse is to ask for help. There are several community and statewide resources in place to help elder victims of abuse.
The Evans Law Firm focuses on elder abuse litigation in California. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of abuse, contact the lawyers at the Evans Law Firm at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.