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Updated: June 14, 2014 00:53 IST

City shames itself on elderly abuse

Staff Reporter
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Survey finds Hyderabad fourth in the list of one-tier cities. However, one positive change this year was that only 28 per cent did not report abuse, a big decline from the 73 per cent in 2013.

Forty per cent respondents of a survey conducted on the elderly in the city said they were subjected to abuse, up three per cent from last year’s 37 per cent. The report by HelpAge India also stated that Hyderabad stood fourth among the six one-tier cities surveyed, and respondents interviewed claimed that 63 per cent of the perpetrators were sons and 40 per cent were their daughter-in-laws.

The survey report titled Elder Abuse in India (2014), was released here on Friday, two days ahead of ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’. The data comprises of 10 localities which were sampled in six one-tier and six two-tier cities, with Hyderabad included in the former category. The areas were chosen randomly, said Mather Cherian, chief executive officer of HelpAge India.

The report said 40 per cent of male and female respondents said they had experienced personal abuse. The most common abuse reported by those interviewed was the ‘neglect’ by families at 53 per cent, while ‘disrespect’ and ‘verbal abuse’ came next at 46 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

According to the survey, ‘changing ethos’ (45 per cent) was the main reason for abuse, while ‘emotional dependence on the abuser’ (38 per cent), and ‘lack of effective legal remedies’ (33 per cent) came next.

However, one positive change this year was that only 28 per cent did not report abuse, a big decline from the 73 per cent in 2013.

The report also said 60 per cent of respondents who did not report their problems said they did not know how to deal with the issue, while 45 per cent did not to maintain ‘confidentiality’. It also sho-wed that just 25 per cent of the elderly were aware of a police helpline and a mere 28 per cent about the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act Act.

The survey also revealed that 48 per cent of those who were abused reported the incident to an extended family member, 14 per cent to social workers, 21 per cent to friends and seven per cent to community leaders.

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