A little less then a third of all the elderly living in cities are facing abuse, according to a survey conducted by HelpAge India.

The survey report was released at a meeting of the elderly, school children and media conducted jointly by HelpAge India, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation helpline for the elderly “Aasara” and the Krishna District Senior Citizens' Welfare Association on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 2012 here on Friday.

Aasara project coordinator R. Subba Rao releasing the survey report said that the survey was conducted in 20 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Patna, Chandigarh, Panaji, Ahmedabad, Shimla, Jammu, Kochi, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Puducherry, Jaipur, Chennai, Dehradun and Lucknow.

About 5,800 elders were interviewed with 280 per location. Only 5,400 of the responses were found to be valid.

According to the survey 31 per cent of elders faced abuse. The survey found that three-fourths of the elderly who faced abuse were living with their families.

And 69 per cent of the elderly were being abused even though they were living in their own homes.

The abuse came from the most trusted of sources, with the son being the primary abuser in 56 per cent of the cases and the daughter-in-law followed by being the abuser in 23 per cent of the case.

According to the survey elderly women were subjected to more abuse when compared to the men and those above 80 when compared to the younger.

Forty-four per cent of the elderly identified disrespect as the common form of abuse, 30 per cent identified it as ‘neglect' and 26 per cent identified it as verbal abuse.

Krishna District Senior Citizens' Welfare Association M. Venkateswara Rao said that scolding, beating up, being tied up to the bed, starvation and restricting their movements in the house were common forms of abuse.

Information about such abuse should be given to Aasara helpline (1253) and action would be taken against the perpetrators, he said. There was provision to prosecute the perpetrators under provisions of the Senior Citizen and Parents Maintenance Act, 2007.

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