Bengaluru

‘Sons are foremost perpetrators of elder abuse’

Former Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde (centre) released the findings of the study on Thursday on the eve of World Elder Abuse Day, along with HelpAge India State head Rekha Murthy and Additional Commissioner of Police M. Nanjundaswami.

Former Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde (centre) released the findings of the study on Thursday on the eve of World Elder Abuse Day, along with HelpAge India State head Rekha Murthy and Additional Commissioner of Police M. Nanjundaswami.   | Photo Credit: G_P_Sampath Kumar

Findings of 2018 'Elder Abuse Study' report, which was released by HelpAge India on Thursday

Elder abuse starts at home with the people closest to senior citizens guilty of mental and physical abuse. The 2018 'Elder Abuse Study' report, released by Help Age India on Thursday, found that sons were the foremost perpetrators of elder abuse.

The study, which was released on the eve of World Elder Abuse Day, covered 23 cities across India. Around 25% of the 5,014 respondents said they experienced abuse. Of these, 52% said that they had been abused by their sons. Daughters-in-law came second on the list with 34% of senior citizens reporting abuse in their hands.

The report stated that the most common form of abuse elders experience is disrespect (56%) while 49% said they faced verbal abuse, and 33% neglect. Disturbingly, 12% of those interviewed said they were either beaten or slapped.

At the national level, 70% of the abusers were educated up to the 12th standard and 40% of them were skilled workers, self-employed or working in the private sector, said the authors of the report. The average age of the abuser was 42.

The main reason for abuse was related to the abuser wanting to live independently (26%). Property (22%), lack of resources to meet the needs of elders (22%) and dislike for the senior’s way of living (23%) were also cited as reasons for the abuse.

At least 25% of the interviewed elders said that their children saw them as a burden.

Reporting low

Though there is greater understanding among seniors about abuse, reporting remains dismally low. Around 82% of the respondents failed to report the abuse to any person or agency. Of these, 52% did not report abuse to maintain confidentiality while 34% did not know how to deal with the problem, suggesting lack of awareness.

The report also studied the impact of technology and social media on elders. Of those interviewed, 73% felt that their adult children are too busy on the phone even when at home with them, and 78% claimed that social media had decreased the time spent by their family with them.

Mangaluru reports highest percentage of elder abuse

At the city level, the study found that Mangaluru had the highest percentage of elder abuse (47% of the respondents reported some form of abuse), followed by Ahmedabad (46%), Bhopal (39%), Amristar (35%) and Delhi (33%).

Chennai (27%) and Bengaluru (26%) stood in the 9th and 10th places, respectively.

In Hyderabad, in 64% of the cases, the son was the person responsible for the abuse, followed by Delhi (62%) and Dehradun, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati (61%).

Amritsar and Bhubaneswar reported the highest percent of physical abuse on elders (22%), followed by Patna (21%), Kolkata and Bhopal (20%).

Mangaluru stood fifth among top five cities with fewer elders reporting abuse (11%). Faridabad topped with just 5% of those surveyed stating that they had reported abuse. Bhopal saw the highest reporting of elder abuse at 36%.

Former Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde, who released the report in the city on Thursday, said, “Laws cannot stop elder abuse. The children should be sensitized from a young age to respect their elders, and this should be made a part of the school curriculum. The value-based education that we had as children is missing today.”

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 12:17:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/sons-are-foremost-perpetrators-of-elder-abuse/article24165151.ece

Next Story