Sunday, December 12, 2010

Elder abuse of women on the rise (Chennai)

Dec.11: A large number of elderly women in Chennai city are being
abused by their family members, a study conducted by an assistant
professor in the University of Madras has revealed.

The assistant professor, Dr M. Priyamvadha, interviewed nearly 1,800
elderly women of which one out of two turned out to be victims of
verbal abuse. And in the case of 40 percent of elderly women, it was
their sons who turned out to be the abusers.
"I did this as there is no proper study on abuse against elderly women
in the criminological perspective," said Dr M. Priyamvadha, the
assistant professor. "The scriptures say sons protect their mother but
our study proved this was wrong."

The study revealed that family members subject about 53 per cent of
elderly women to verbal abuse. Women in the age group of 70-89 are
more vulnerable to verbal abuse and male members (husband or son) of
the family are the major perpetrators of verbal abuse.
"The prevalence of verbal abuse varies in different socio-economic
groups," said the academic. "It was mostly seen in the lower strata of
the society." Alarmingly, as many as 32 elderly women in the age group
of 60-69 were subjected to sexual abuse also.

"Though this is only two per cent of the total sample size it is a
matter of concern for society," said Dr Priyamvadha. The study also
reveals that a major chunk (54 per cent) of elderly women was
illiterate and about 85 per cent of respondents were unaware of the
newly enacted Act for Maintenance and Welfare of Senior Citizens.
Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
040-27846631 / 9490804278.
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