Child and elder abuse

Elder abuse

Elder Abuse affects people of every social, economic, and religious background impacting both men and women. It is similar to other forms of domestic violence and may include physical violence, sexual assault, emotional, and psychological. Elder survivors also face fear of abandonment, financial exploitation, and neglect.

Unique barriers faced by elderly survivors

  • Social isolation, mental impairment, and physical limitations may make an elder survivor more vulnerable to abuse and less able to seek safety.
  • Survivors may be totally or partially dependent on the abuser for daily care needs, including meals, daily hygiene care, mobility, and access to medication.
  • Survivors may depend on abuser for basic survival needs such as shelter, access to funds, and food.
  • Survivors of elder abuse may experience shame, fear, embarrassment, anxiety, confusion, and guilt.
  • Due to grief and life losses, elder survivors may experience increased depression and withdrawal.

Types of elder abuse

Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical force that results in injury, impairment, or pain.
  • Shaking, hitting, slapping, pulling hair, or pushing.
  • Spitting, burning, force-feeding, or kicking.
  • Physical punishment, restraining, refusing physical assistance, and refusing food.
  • Inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints.
  • Rough handling during care giving.
  • Emotional & psychological abuse includes, but is not limited to:
  • Verbal or nonverbal act that inflicts emotional pain or distress.
  • Ignoring and isolating the survivor.
  • Name-calling, ridiculing, scapegoating or blaming.
  • Threatening to punish or deprive, intimidating.
  • Yelling and screaming.
  • Isolating from family, friends, or regular activities.
  • Inappropriate joking and teasing.
  • Stealing or withholding valuables.
  • Withholding needed assistance.
  • Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to:
  • Sexual contact with an elder without that person’s consent.
  • Coerced nudity.
  • Fondling, touching, or kissing.
  • Forcing elder to witness sexual acts.
  • Spying on the elder in the bathroom or bedroom.
  • Touching with out notification or consent.
  • Sexual assault of any type.
  • Showing pornographic material.
  • Coercion to perform sexual acts.
  • Photographing the elder in sexually explicit ways.

Request a restraining order

Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act (EPPDAPA) restraining orders are used to protect elderly and disabled Oregonians from a variety of abuses including physical, verbal, and financial abuse. You (or your guardian) may apply for an EPPDAPA restraining order against anyone who has committed abuse against you in the last 180 days. 

1. Age or Disability

To be eligible for an EPPDAPA, you must be either:

65 years or older;

A person with a disability. Disability is defined as having either:

A physical or mental impairment that sub-stantially limits one or more major life activities, or

A brain injury caused by extrinsic forces that results in loss of function for a sufficient time so as to affect your ability to perform activities of daily living;


The guardian or guardian ad litem of an elderly person or person with a disability.

2. Abuse

In the last 180 days,* the person who abused you must have:

Caused you physical injury or inflicted pain;

Neglected you, resulting in physical harm;

Abandoned, neglected, or deserted you (if that person was your caregiver and had a duty to care for you);

Threatened you, called you offensive or derogatory names, cursed at you, made inappropriate sexual comments toward you, or otherwise verbally abused you, in such a way as to threaten physical or emotional harm;

Forced you to engage in nonconsensual sexual contact; or

Wrongfully took money or property from you.

* Any time period when the person who abused you was in jail or lived more than 100 miles from your home does not count as part of the 180 day period.

3. Continued Threat of Abuse

You also must be in immediate and present danger of further abuse.

Information courtesy of

External links

Child abuse

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect as:

Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

DV/SA advocacy and child abuse

The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and most of our OCADSV member programs are focused on serving adult and adolescent survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (though some programs may also serve children who have witnessed violence). When a child is the primary victim of abuse or neglect, providing support and resources may be outside the scope of community-based DV/SA advocacy. 

Child Abuse Intervention Centers

Child Abuse Intervention Centers (CAICs) are medically-oriented community organizations dedicated to screening for child abuse, providing services and referrals, educating the community about child abuse prevention and awareness, and working closely in partnership with law enforcement, child protective services, and other medical and mental health providers to put the child’s best interests first. In Oregon, CAICs are affiliated with the Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers

External links

Oregon-specific resources

National resources

Links courtesy of the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Administration for Children and Families
Partners with federal, state, tribal and local agencies to improve the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families

Child Welfare League of America
CWLA leads public and private agencies and partners to advance policies, best practices and collaborative strategies that result in better outcomes for children, youth and families that are vulnerable.

Kempe Children’s Center
Partners with policy makers, human service agencies, child advocacy groups and nonprofits locally and around the nation and globe to prevent child abuse and neglect and to treat victims of abuse and neglect.

Missing Children Clearinghouse
Provides services, resources and technical assistance to child victims of abduction and sexual exploitation, their families and the professionals who serve them. Phone: 1-800-282-7155 (Hotline)

National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
NCPCA provides training, technical assistance and publications to prosecutors, investigators and allied criminal justice professionals on all aspects of criminal child abuse and exploitation.

National Center for Victims of Crime
A nonprofit organization that advocates for victims’ rights, trains professionals who work with victims, and serves as a trusted source of information on victims’ issues.

Domestic violence children witnessing
Author / Source

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

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