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NCJ Number: 203670 Find in a Library
Title: Native American Elder Abuse
Author(s): Dave Baldridge; Arnold S. Brown Ph.D.
Corporate Author: Ctr on Child Abuse and Neglect
United States of America
Project Director: Dolores Subia BigFoot
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr on Child Abuse and Neglect
Oklahoma City, OK 73190
Office for Victims of Crime
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 97-VI-GX-0002
Sale Source: Ctr on Child Abuse and Neglect
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Ctr
P.O. Box 26901, CHO 3-B-3406
Oklahoma City, OK 73190
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Monograph
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article is part of the Native American Topic-Specific Monograph project and deals with the issue of elder abuse among Native Americans.
Abstract: In recent years, critical questions have been raised regarding the definition of elder abuse. Typically, the definition of elder abuse has been divided into a number of types of mistreatments imposed on older people -– neglect, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and exploitation. The use of the term “abuse” has also been criticized as an adequate definition of this problem, as such criminalizing the behavior without taking into account many abuse-related factors. Available data on elder abuse, both among Native Americans and other cultural groups, show that most elder abuse takes place in the context of what has been called “the obligation of care” -– elders cared for by informal caregivers who are mostly family members, whose actions are seldom criminal in nature (Brown, 1989 & 1998). Criminal definitions fail to address the enormous problems related to informal caregiving. A survey on elder abuse among Navajo elders revealed three types of indicators of the four types of abuse: 1) those having to do with problematic conditions of the elders themselves; 2) those having to do with the problematic conditions of the caregivers; and 3) those having to do with their family problems. Neglect was found to be the most prevalent form of abuse followed by verbal abuse, physical abuse, and exploitation. Reporting and treating elder abuse is largely dependent on awareness of the problem. Recent surveys have shown an increased awareness among those who plan and implement services for the elderly across the reservations. The surveys show that over 80 percent of the service providers blame immediate family members for all types of abuse, compared to 10 percent who blame extended family members, and fewer who blame others in the community. The surveys also revealed those elders most vulnerable to abuse as: 1) women, 2) those who were the oldest, 3) those who were socially isolated, and 4) those living only with their primary caregivers. Awareness of the problem of elder abuse has increased and several of the tribes have taken steps to address the problem. These steps include workshops to discuss the problem and development of tribal laws regarding elder abuse. References, suggested readings, resources, and a list of Native American topic specific monograph project titles
Main Term(s): American Indians
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Elderly victims; OVC grant-related documents; Victim services; Victim-offender relationships
Note: Downloaded January 13, 2004.
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