California’s laws regarding domestic violence are wide-reaching and very strict, with potentially severe consequences for those who are accused. But when the alleged victim/survivor is a senior citizen, an incident of violence may fold into other parts of the law, resulting in possible further charges and penalties. Let’s take a closer look at the issue of domestic violence involving seniors and what you might face if you are arrested on suspicion of violence against an elderly person.
A Look at the Numbers
Although violence against women certainly isn’t the only form of domestic violence, most cases do target women as the victim. That being said, statistically speaking, violence against the aged is almost as common as violence against women—so much so that most states (including California) recognize elder abuse as a separate category of crime. Here in the U.S., approximately one in five seniors will experience some form of abuse (compared to one in four women), the vast majority of which will never be reported. Among those cases of elder abuse, at least two-thirds of them are committed by a family member (e.g., a child or spouse). By these numbers, two-thirds of the incidents of elder abuse also technically classify as acts of domestic violence.