Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Aging Women: Promoting Community Knowledge Intimate partner violence (IPV), which includes physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, is a major public health concern. National age-aggregated data available suggest that a significant number of mid-life and older women experience IPV. With the aging of the baby boom generation, the incidence and prevalence of IPV in aging women is expected to increase significantly. The purpose of this collaborative partnership between the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley is to enhance service professionals'knowledge of IPV of aging women as they engage in a process for developing a strategic model of intervention to address the needs of women in their community.
The specific aims of the collaborative effort include: identifying existing NIH supported and other available empirical research and program descriptions addressing issues of IPV in aging women (e.g., individual outcomes, community interventions);projecting the future prevalence of aging women who are victims of IPV in the study area;obtaining the perspectives of community leaders (e.g., service professionals, healthcare providers, law enforcement, clergy) about IPV of aging women as well acquiring input from the women themselves;and developing a intervention model to address the needs aging victims of IPV living in rural communities. To achieve these aims, the project relies on community-based participatory research practices to address issues facing rural aging women who wish to lead safe or violence-free lives in their later years and the community support to help them safely and successfully rebuild their lives. Data collection strategies include a review of the scientific literature and community programs designed to address the needs of aging women who experience IPV, focus groups with professional service providers, and interviews with women who experienced IPV in mid and late life. Data will be used to develop a strategic planning model that will serve as the framework from which to construct prevention and intervention programs to accommodate the needs of rural aging older women seeking assistance to end violent relationships. The results of this collaborative project are likely to improve public understanding of federally funded biomedical and behavioral research related to IPV of aging women. Specifically, the project products (i.e., white papers/research briefs) will be distributed to policymakers, law enforcement agencies, community services, and faith-based organizations to further their understanding of the issues and challenges facing rural older rural women who experience IPV. Intimate partner violence, which includes physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, is a major public health concern. This collaborative partnership between the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley will enhance service professionals'knowledge of IPV of aging women as they engage in a process for developing a strategic model of intervention to address the needs of women in their community.
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