Exploring the Nature of Elder Abuse in Ethno-Cultural Minority Groups: A community-based participatory research study

Heather Seija Marguerite Haukioja


Elder abuse is a significant public health, social justice, and human rights issue in today’s society. Despite the recognition that elder1 abuse affects older adults across all racial, ethnic, and cultural groups, very little is known about the experiences of elder abuse among people from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds in Canada. The primary objective of this study is to explore the nature of elder abuse within the two largest ethno-cultural minority groups in British Columbia (BC), the Chinese and South Asians (i.e., those who were either born in or can trace their ancestry to South Asia, which includes nations such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal). Using a community-based participatory research approach,this study is a collaboration between three academics at the University of Victoria and four front-line workers from the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), a not-for-profit, multicultural services organization for immigrants and refugees. The qualitative findings from this interview-based study reveal that cultural context, immigration status, and ethnicity are significant factors influencing experiences of elder abuse. Further, the findings provide insights into what resources — awareness and prevention — need to be developed in order to address the issue of elder abuse in these communities.


Elder abuse; ethno-cultural minority groups; aging; culture; immigration

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18357/tar71201615681

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ISSN 1923-1334 (Online)

University of Victoria