Within the framework of the  “Empowerment of older women: preventing violence by challenging social norms in Serbia and Austria (EmPreV)” project and at the Red Cross of Sombor premises two focus group interviews were organised to collect information on violence against older women. Each group had ten female participants, one with women over 65 and the other with women between 30 and 64.

Through the interviews, information was collected from women of different generations about elder abuse targeting women, about the frequency of this phenomenon and whether the participants know any older woman who may have survived abuse. The participants also talked about why abuse does not get reported, who common perpetrators are and what the risks that lead to violence are. An important part of the interviews were discussions about how the system and its different parts protect older women or fail to protect them and what needs to be improved to ensure older women are protected.

The conclusion is that social inclusion in the community can be a preventive factor but that it is also important to educate older women on how to recognise abuse and where to report it.

This project is implemented in partnership with the Austrian Red Cross and Austrian Institute for Conflict Research and supported by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency.

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