We at HelpAge International speak out against the pervasive and often ignored issue of violence against older women. We highlight stories of abuse and raise awareness of the barriers preventing effective action to address this violence.

  • Read our discussion paper on violence against older women.
  • Watch our video telling the stories of two survivors in Moldova.

“My husband beat me for many years […] only after he died could I get over it.”

Violence against older women is a severe human rights abuse. It is driven by both ageism and sexism, but also affected by other characteristics such as marital status or having a disability. It is grounded in deep-rooted prejudices, dehumanising stereotypes and social norms that tolerate and even condone awful acts of violence.An older woman may be the victim of verbal and physical abuse in her home. She may be accused of “witchcraft” and attacked or even murdered by members of her own community. She may be denied the right to land from her husband when he dies due to discriminatory inheritance laws. Or she may be deprived autonomy in a care setting, with other people making decisions for her that may not be her wish.She may face many forms of sexual, physical, financial and emotional abuse, committed by various perpetrators.