REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, through a grant awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women in the U.S. Department of Justice, that established the Communities Against Abuse in Later Life (CAALL) recently facilitated a day-long training for victim service providers. This training focused on abuse in later life, and equipped providers to recognize and better support survivors who were over the age of 50 years old. The training was facilitated through a collaboration between Springwell Protective Services, Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Domestic and Sexual Assault Unit, and REACH staff.
The training focused on abuse in later life, and helped participants learn how to identify if it is occurring as well as to recognize their roles in providing support and other resources that are available. The training included a mix of small and large group discussions, and one interactive exercise. The morning focused on identifying abuse and abusers, while the afternoon presented a victim-centered response. Participants noted that having three presenters with different backgrounds helped with focusing on the material. The training was enhanced with a number of videos that show the survivors’ perspectives regarding the abuse and their lives after the abuse stopped. One hard-to-watch video showed the perspective of an abusive adult daughter.
Twenty-one service providers from Belmont, Lincoln, Newton, Sudbury, Watertown, Wayland and Weston representing a variety of services, including Councils on Aging, Fire Departments, Housing Authorities, Boards of Health, Police Departments, and Domestic Violence agencies participated in the training.