Who can bring a lawsuit for abuse of the elderly?

Violence, mistreatment, abuse

Violence, ill-treatment, and emotional or sexual abuse can affect the physical and / or mental health of victims. These people need to be listened to and given quick help. The consequences of the experience can be better overcome with an appropriate accompaniment. But the violent people also need help. They have to learn to divert their emotions or impulses, aggressiveness or sexual pleasure in different channels. That is why it is important to talk about such behaviors.

Violence, mistreatment and abuse occur at all stages of life. The victims are mainly weaker people - children and adolescents (girls and boys), women, the elderly or people with a mental illness. People with a severe mental disorder are more likely to be victims than the rest of the population. In this context, it should also be emphasized that people with a mental disorder (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) are no more dangerous than others.

Abuse can take place at different levels:

  • physically
  • psychological / emotional
  • sexually
  • as willful or unintentional neglect
  • as harassment (bullying; also in connection with the Internet and social media; then one speaks of cyberbullying).

Being exposed to violence, mistreatment or abuse once or repeatedly causes great stress and is highly traumatizing. The psychological consequences of such acts can be devastating.

In general, victims experience insomnia, nightmares, and fainting, low self-esteem, loneliness, keeping their worries to themselves, withdrawing into themselves, and having difficulty establishing positive relationships with others. In some situations this can lead to depression or even suicide attempt.

Sometimes the victims express their suffering through aggressive behavior: for example, they get angry quickly, have a tendency to argue, lie or steal.

Violence, Ill-treatment and Abuse - Children and Adolescents

Violence and abuse can occur particularly frequently in childhood and adolescence, as children and adolescents are dependent on persons in authority (parents, relatives, teachers, trainers). After school enrollment, older adolescents or their peers may act aggressively on weaker people, which can lead to constant bullying and exclusion from the group. Such situations can be emotionally difficult for the victims to cope with and can lead to depression or even suicide.

If you are being mistreated or are aware of such a situation, it is important to act quickly. The sooner these acts are put to an end, the sooner the victim can be cared for and deal with what they have experienced. Rapid intervention can also accompany the person performing such acts so that they can understand their behavior and try to change it.

Shame and fear sometimes prevent one from reporting such acts. However, the situation can be improved if you talk to someone you trust (parents, friends, confidants, etc.) or a specialist from the school, from the medical field or from the mediation field. It is important that adults who are told something like this take the statements of the children and adolescents seriously and act. The role of perhaps the only keeper of secrets can be very stressful.

On the telephone number 147 you will be connected anonymously and free of charge to specialists who can listen to you and advise you.

You can also contact the police or a child and adult protection service. You can find the relevant addresses here.

Violence, mistreatment and abuse - couple relationship

Violence can also occur in a partnership. This goes well beyond the disagreements or arguments most couples experience. In the case of intimate partner violence, one partner usually wants to dominate the other.

This can be physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence. The consequences for the victim are devastating: physical injuries, psychological suffering, coercion, fear, guilt, shame ... Violence in a couple relationship can even be fatal.

Violence is never excusable. Domestic violence is considered an official offense under certain circumstances and is prosecuted ex officio (rape, sexual assault, simple bodily harm, repeated assault, threats and coercion). It is important not to belittle these acts or think that they are only temporary. In general, the violent person has problems. You should get help from a specialist. There are now many perpetrator advice centers.

If you are a victim of intimate partner violence, use violence yourself, or witness such violence: Do not be alone with this problem. This must be stopped as soon as possible. Talk to someone you trust in your environment or contact a specialist, a specialized association or the police. They can advise you and suggest solutions. Search our database here.

Violence, mistreatment and abuse - the elderly

The loss of independence and loneliness that can arise after a certain age make older people more vulnerable and lead them to be more likely to be victims of abuse, neglect or disrespect.

The abuse can take place on a physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial level. But it can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

The abusive people can be relatives or loved ones who look after the elderly. In some cases, however, there are also experts.

These experiences are often traumatizing for the victims and cause great psychological suffering.

If you are a victim of abuse, abuse someone, or notice such an act, it is important to put a stop to it as soon as possible. Discuss it with someone you trust in your environment or with a specialist (nurse, doctor, home care service, etc.). You can also contact the police. Seniors' associations can also help you. You can find more information in our database here.

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