Today (Monday 8th March) marks International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate women and highlighting women’s rights across society. This year IWD is raising awareness through the Choose to Challenge pose – with people from around the world raising a hand to show their commitment to challenging inequality, calling out bias, and questioning stereotypes for a more inclusive world.
As 2021’s International Women’s Day also falls at the start of Intergenerational week, it’s a great opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of women of all ages.
At Hourglass we know that not only do women face gender-based obstacles, but that age means that older women face additional barriers. These barriers may include:
Older women feeling expected to protect the family unit by staying with the abuser, and fearing losing relationships with adult children, family, and friends.
For many older women, abuse may become normalised and accepted, which can create barriers to getting help and support.
Older victims may experience a decline in physical and cognitive health and become dependent on their abuser for support.
In some cases, older victims may also provide a caring role for their abuser which also impacts on their willingness to leave an abusive relationship.
Additionally, ageist portrayals of older people in media and political campaigns against abuse often predominantly focus on young women and children. Until recently over 75s were not included in national domestic abuse data at all, erasing the voices of older victims and making it harder for older people reporting abuse and seeking help.
Although the past year has seen some much-needed progress in policy, such as the Domestic Abuse Bill and in campaigns, such as the Ask for Ani scheme, there is still clearly much more to be done to ensure that women, along with everyone in our society, can age safely.
That’s why this International Women’s Day we will be sharing the things Hourglass staff and volunteers are #ChoosingToChallenge, as well as some of the key ways you can get involved in the safer ageing movement. Keep an eye out on our blogs and social media for more!
If you would like to support the work we do to help older victims of abuse and fight to get their voices heard, we’re always looking for volunteers and fundraisers to join our team.
Donations can make a huge difference, and we’re grateful for any amount – big or small