Supporting a 70-year old domestic abuse survivor

We had a heart-warming story from the Domestic Abuse Outreach team this week. The victim, C, was over 70 years old and had been in a domestically abusive relationship for over 40 years but had not confided in anyone during this time. The NHS Dementia Intensive Support Team had referred C to ACT, as they had recognised that she was suffering from domestic violence following a referral that they had received for her husband. Our team spoke to C and helped her with some safety planning. In addition, the Dementia Care Team arranged for her husband to go to respite twice a week to giver C a break. They also changed his medication to help control his impulsive behaviour.

These changes helped C to have time to see her friends and family by herself, and to confide her circumstances to them. Once they became aware of the situation they were able to support her as she really needed.

C reported after a month that her home life had significantly improved; she felt able to discuss what she had been through, seek the support of others and had time to do things for herself. Her husband’s behaviour has improved and is manageable; there has been no further physical violence. C has reported a vast improvement in her own mental health too. It’s so sad to learn of situations like this that have been going on for 40 years, but at least we were able to eventually help C. Well done Eileen and the team, a good piece of work. It also shows the power of collaborative working with the NHS.

Domestic abuse can be a hidden danger – and it doesn’t discriminate. For support, advice and action call the Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 977 5690