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Finding local remedies for the global problem: hearing the older voices in the turmoil of abuse and neglect

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Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis The COVID 19 pandemic has brought many new challenges but also just underlined and highlighted several previously known and long persistent issues. The ageism embroiled in our societies and hidden violence and neglect of older people being among them. Pre-COVID19 data from meta-analysis show prevalence of elder abuse and neglect (EAN) varies by the type of the violence from psychological 12 %, physical violence 3%, financial abuse 7%, neglect 4% to sexual violence 1%, affecting approx. 141 mio older person worldwide, leading to excess of premature deaths, decreased quality of life of the survivors, and increased costs for the public systems. While there is no consensus on the uniform definition of the EAN, it seems to be very useful to think about it as of a syndrome which has typical, frequent and significant signs (symptoms) and symptom clusters; usually multiple and variously combined causes with multi-causal aetiology, chronic course, limitation of the victim's independence (functional severity) and lack of a simple (causal) cure. With this in mind we propose new approach to the concept of EAN as a single or repeated, intentional or unintentional act or failure to act towards a person of advanced age, typically in a relationship of reasonably expected trust, which directly or indirectly results in significant physical, psychological, social or material harm, or a combination of these. The act, or lack of act, may or may not be of the nature of a criminal offence in terms of its intensity, and may involve an individual or group of persons, an institution or a system. Such approach recognizes the web-like relations of actors, actions and needed (sources of) solutions. Therefore, in recognition of these complexities, we further propose an innovative action and introduce restorative justice as a part of the healing process of the EAN cases. Restorative justice points out that the crime does not primarily violate legal norms, but causes harm and disrupts interpersonal relationships, and aims to meet the needs of the victim, hold the offender accountable for the consequences of the crime and engage the community. As such, restorative justice is very useful in empowering older victims, securing their voices and supporting observation of their rights. Despite obviously not being fit for absolutely all existing victim-perpetuator dyads and their surrounding community, by the restorative justice informed mediation and conferences appears to be a good fit for the domestic cases of the EAN, as well as incidents within the institutional contexts. In the course of our presentation we will explore possible ways how to develop the restorative praxis in the cases of EAN, and will try to answer existing concerns risen mainly by the feminist scholars against the restorative justice foundations.
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