Old age, vulnerability and sexual violence: implications for knowledge and practice

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AimThis paper seeks to offer further analysis on the relationship between abuse of power, elder abuse and sexual violence. Importantly, current definitions are examined and the existing literature is reviewed to establish what the current level of debate is on sexual violence in its relationship to elderly women.MethodsThrough the analysis of available literature it is possible to observe which and how older people have been marginalized both in particular disciplines of study and policy spaces.FindingsWe conclude that marginalization results in inadequate redress to issues of violence and power that may manifest against the older person, and which leads to feelings of vulnerability. There are important implications for helping health professionals, especially nurses, for understanding the policy, theory and practice. The need for empirical research in this difficult area is paramount.

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