Professionals’ Awareness of Sexual Abuse in Late Life: An Exploratory Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The sexual abuse phenomenon is considered taboo. It has been discussed, to date, mainly in relation to children and young women, with insufficient attention to sexual abuse in a late-life context. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this survey was to explore professionals’ awareness of elder sexual abuse (ESA). DESIGN: The survey was conducted among 161 Jewish and Arab professionals from health care and social services, who worked with older adults in Israel. RESULTS: Of the entire sample, 70 professionals (only 43%) reported encountering at least one to three cases of ESA. A total of 98% of the victims were women, and the primary offender was the spouse (75%). In most cases (70%), the victim reported the abuse, which was mainly sexual assault (64%). All participants (100%) noted taking action. CONCLUSION: This exploratory survey indicates that professionals are partially aware of the existence of and the need to address the ESA phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • awareness
  • elder abuse
  • elder mistreatment
  • elder sexual abuse
  • intimate partner violence
  • older adults
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Professionals’ Awareness of Sexual Abuse in Late Life: An Exploratory Survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this