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  • Author or Editor: Miranda Davies x
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This chapter examines the possibilities of the ‘bystander intervention model’ to explore the decision making of health and social care professionals when detecting and attempting to prevent financial elder abuse. It is often suggested that the cases that come to the attention of professionals represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’. If this is the case, argue M Gilhooly, Cairns, Davies, K Gilhooly and Harries, at various points in the decision making process professionals must be deciding not to intervene. Although this UK study goes some way to explaining why professionals find it difficult to detect financial elder abuse, or fail to act when they suspect such abuse, the study also revealed that many professionals do play safe and act even when in doubt. The finding that ‘mental capacity’ was a key determinant of both certainty that abuse was taking place, and likelihood of intervention, is concerning. Prevention requires that such abuse is detected well before an older person loses mental capacity.

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Research suggests that during the COVID-19 pandemic reports of rapes and serious sexual offences to the authorities have declined while calls to domestic violence helplines have soared. This article focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on reporting to the police in cases of rape, serious sexual offences and domestic abuse in one police force in England. Data from the force’s crime reporting system was provided from 2018 to 2021, including over 10,000 reports of rapes and serious sexual offences and over 5,000 reports of domestic abuse. An Interrupted Time Series analysis was used to evaluate the impact of lockdown on reporting rates, with segmented regression to measure the changes in reporting before and after the start of the pandemic in March 2020. This article is the first of its kind to explore the impact of COVID-19 on sexual and domestic violence at more than an aggregate level, demonstrating how COVID-19 has had a variable impact on different groups of victims, and how stay at home orders specifically have impacted on reporting rates. These data provide novel and valuable insights into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the reporting of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

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