Growing old with domestic abuse – media centre

Last updated 25/02/2021

Ten per cent of older people will experience some form of domestic abuse and in Somerset the number of people over sixty-five reporting abuse is on the increase.

Social isolation has been identified as one of the leading contributors and, at a time when more people are isolated due to the current lockdown, we would like to reassure everyone  help is, and will continue to be, available for those experiencing domestic abuse – whatever their age.

The Council has had a long running campaign, #NoClosedDoors2020, which reminds people of this issue and where to get help if they are, or think they know someone, who is experiencing this kind of abuse.

The decision to leave an abuser is a difficult and courageous one to make, even without the added difficulties brought on by COVID-19; Self-isolating with a perpetrator of domestic abuse can make it difficult for someone to find a safe place, where they can be alone, to telephone for help. We also know that one of the things abusers sometimes do is stop their victims from having telephone access or monitor it’s use very closely.

Our older population are more likely not to have access to the internet or social media. This further isolates them and often makes it difficult for us to reach out to them with information about the help that is available.

The fear of catching the coronavirus may also be putting some elderly people off leaving their homes to get help – we will be there for them when they are ready and in  the meantime there is lots of useful advice at about managing in an abusive relationship during lockdown.

There may also be people who still think that our domestic abuse service is not running because of the pandemic or that they are not allowed to leave their home because of government restrictions – this is not the case. The service has robust plans in place to allow it to stay open throughout and beyond the pandemic, and, Government guidance allows for people to be able to leave their homes to flee domestic abuse, despite the restrictions that are in place.

We need your help to get this message out to the elderly residents of Somerset.

We are looking for new channels of communication and multi agency help to get these key message across to senior members of our community that:

  • Domestic abuse is not just experienced by young people
  • Help is still, and will continue to be, available for all ages of people experiencing domestic abuse
  • Domestic abuse is not acceptable what ever the circumstances
  • Just because someone has been experiencing domestic abuse for years it doesn’t make it alright or legal

You can help in a number of ways:

  • Use or adapt our suggest copy on your intranet and in your newsletters or briefs.
  • Monitor our social media posts and share them with your followers.
  • Use or adapt some of the following resources though your own channels.

The following can be used as an advert, online banner advert or email signature:

Press releases:

Growing old with domestic abuse – it’s never too late to get help

Domestic abuse – help is still available

Domestic abuse – hiding in the shadow of lockdown

Council’s campaign spreads awareness of elder abuse

Photo and video resources:

#NoClosedDoors2020 photo library – a selection of emotive photographs that you can use in your media copy.

#NoClosedDoors2020 video library – a selection of useful videos, for you to share, about living with domestic abuse and accessing help that is available.

Campaign TV commercial:

Campaign radio commercial:

Influencer audios

With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experiencing domestic abuse in their lifetime, it is likely we all know someone suffering behind closed doors.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give – let’s make a difference

Resources for all types of domestic abuse are available here.