Elder Abuse Cases on the Rise in Bangalore, Experts Blame Poor Implementation of Law

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World Elder Abuse Day is on June 15 . Sadly, Bengaluru has seen an increase in the number of cases over the last one year. 

While the World Elder Abuse Day on June 15, is committed to tackling elder abuse, it is a shocker that Bengaluru city has seen a considerable rise in harassment and abuse against older adults. In the last one year, harassment and elder abuse cases have increased from 174 in 2016-2017 to 264 in 2018-19, as per the data recorded by the Elders Helpline, Bengaluru. The data also revealed that while 60% of elders have stated that they face some kind of abuse, only 18% of them came forward to report an abuse.

Most of the cases of harassment and abuse against senior citizens are caused by a family member, usually son or daughter-in-law. A few cases of elder abuse have been registered against the neighbours, as per the statistics available with the Helpline. A greater number of senior citizens report about verbal and emotional abuse out of which a majority of disputes are property related.

Sandhya G, project-in-charge, Elders Helpline, Office of the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, said: “It is unfortunate that most of the elder abuse cases that are registered with us are genuine and this is because today’s generation considers the previous generation as a burden. Once the parents grow old, they become financially dependent on their sons and daughters and cannot contribute to the income for the family. This results in the son neglecting and abusing them to get rid of the so-called additional pressure.”

“When a case is reported at our Helpline, we first listen to them and find out if its genuine or not. When found to be true, we take a written complaint and send a notice to the perpetrators through the cops. We then bring both the parties together and talk to them and try to settle the dispute amicably,” added Sandhya.

Blaming the inadequate implementation of Maintenance of Senior Citizens Act for the rise in the number of cases every month in the city, Shiv Kumar, senior advocate, said: “Under the maintenance act, a cop is expected to maintain vigil, particularly on the senior citizens. However, that is only on paper and rarely do we implement the law. Moreover, Karnataka police force is already unstaffed. A para force has to be created including the senior citizens in order to keep an eye on older adults and prevent their harassment.

Related features: https://silvertalkies.com/elder-abuse-emotional-psychological/

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About Author

Sreemoyee Chatterjee

Sreemoyee Chatterjee is the content head of Sliver Talkies. A curious and talkative storyteller, she loves spending time with and working for the older adults and getting the best for them. Sreemoyee has served as a correspondent and on-field reporter for 4 years. A classical dancer and thespian by passion, she spends her leisure by writing poetry, scripts for stage theatres and listening to countryside music.