Abuse from an intimate partner can begin at any time in a relationship, and that abuse can continue later in life revealing itself in unique ways. For example, physical violence such as non-fatal strangulation over the course of a relationship can result in early-onset dementia, brain injury, and/or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or "mini-stroke") in older adults. An abusive partner might then weaponize the resulting dementia though gaslighting and emotional abuse continuing a pattern of abuse for decades. Many women over the age of 65 also experience abuse in the forms of isolation, dependency, neglect, financial abuse, inadequate nutrition and denying access to medical care. Many older adults are unsure where or how to seek services for their trauma or injuries and lack both the resources and the support network to address their experiences. Ruth Guerreiro and Jordyn Lawson from Genesis Women's Shelter & Support join the show to discuss the impact of domestic violence later in life and what services are available for survivors.
Ruth Guerreiro is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Supervisor, certified in EMDRIA and the Senior Director of Clinical Services at Genesis where she has worked for the past 10 years. Jordyn Lawson is a Licensed Professional Counselor Board Approved Supervisor and the Senior Director of Residential Services at Genesis, who has also been with Genesis for 10 years. Combined, Ruth and Jordyn bring a minimum of 20 years of experience serving survivors of domestic violence and have a deep understanding of the trauma that ensues from that experience.