UNDESA, together with its focal point on ageing in DSPD, began a discussion based on current research, available data and the terminology used in academic circles to describe and classify violence and abuse against older women. The majority of academic research and discourse has been conducted in developed countries, and agreement on terminology and meanings has—by no means—been clear or agreed. This lack of agreed definitions was one of the problems that explained the lack of visibility of older women in the discourse surrounding the issue of violence and abuse.
The purpose of the present publication is to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge about the abuse of older women. The main forms or categories of abuse against older women are discussed, particularly in relation to differing definitions of neglect, abuse and violence against women and older adults.