The Korea Herald


Two-fifths of elder abuses committed by sons: report

By Kim So-hyun

Published : May 7, 2018 - 14:58

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In nearly two-fifths of elder abuse cases, the perpetrators were sons of the victims, a report showed.

According to an annual report issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Elder Protection Agency, 12,009 cases of elder abuse were reported to 29 state-run regional elder protection agencies in 2016.

Authorities determined that 35.6 percent of them, or 4,280 cases, were actual cases of elder abuse. The figure marked a 12.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Emotional abuse accounted for 40.1 percent of the elder abuse cases in 2016, followed by physical abuse (31.3 percent) and neglect (11.4 percent). 

In 72.3 percent of the cases, the victims were women.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Over two-fifths (42.8 percent) of the victims were in their 70s. Some 32.3 percent were in their 80s and 18.8 percent in their 60s. Twenty-six percent of the victims were either suspected of having or diagnosed with dementia.

The number of abusers was 4,638 as some cases had two or more abusers for a single victim.

Some 67.1 percent of the perpetrators were men.

Sons accounted for 37.3 percent of the abusers, followed by spouses (20.5 percent), daughters (10.2 percent), and nursing facility workers (8.5 percent). Three-quarters (75.5 percent) of the abusers were the victims’ kin such as sons, daughters, spouses, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren and relatives.

The number of self-inflicted elder abuse cases stood at 522, up 32.5 percent from 2012.

Cases in which the victim was abused by his or her spouse rose 46 percent from 2015.

Elder abuse by elders, including self-neglect, also increased sharply.

Senior citizens aged 60 or above were the perpetrators in 47.3 percent of the elder abuse cases, or 2,026 cases in 2016, up 16.9 percent from 2015 and up 54.2 percent from 2012.

Of the elder abusers, 45.7 percent were spouses, 25.8 percent were the victims themselves, and 10.7 percent were sons.

Some 88.8 percent of the elder abuse cases took place in homes. Others took place in assisted living facilities such as nursing homes (5.6 percent), public places (2.2 percent) and hospitals (0.6 percent).

By Kim So-hyun (