Podcast gives voice to hidden older victim-survivors of domestic abuse

15 June 2022

Well-known actors Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses), Maggie Ollerenshaw (Open All Hours), Siobhan Redmond (Taggart), and Peter Guinness (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) are giving a new voice to older victim-survivors of domestic abuse, thanks to work by Aberystwyth University.

Working alongside Director/Producer Christian Gordine, the Dewis Choice research initiative at Aberystwyth University has produced a new podcast, Out of Sight, which explores the lived experiences of this often hidden and unheard group in society.

Based on research by the Dewis Choice Initiative, the podcast portrays the lives of older victim-survivors of domestic abuse, including those who are LGBTQ+ and are living with a disability.  The podcast has been funded by the Moondance Foundation, and aims to raise public awareness and educate people on domestic abuse in later life.

Sarah Wydall, Principal Investigator on Dewis Choice which is based at the Centre for Age Gender and Social Justice, explains:  “Domestic abuse is already hidden. However, when the victims of abuse are aged 60 years and older, they become invisible.  Not only is very little known about the experiences of older victim-survivors of domestic abuse, but this is amplified by a lack of reporting in wide stream media, insufficient specialised service provisions, limited policy attention and cultural ageism within the wider community.”

Rebecca Zerk, Deputy Director of the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice, adds: “Our cultural, political and provisional understanding of domestic abuse is mostly centred around the idea that victims of domestic abuse are mostly younger white women in heterosexual relationships. Whilst true, it leaves very little room for anyone who falls outside of this demographic. We wanted to create a podcast based on our research and wealth of knowledge that can really help contribute to recognising older people as potential victims of domestic abuse.”

The Out of Sight podcast is being released to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) and Pride Month (June).

Sarah Wydall adds:  “We hope that Out of Sight starts a much-needed conversation about the need to create spaces for older people of all backgrounds to have their stories shared and told, and to consider and address hidden inequalities facing some older LGBTQ+ people.  When we ignore the experiences and issues of older people, we end up creating a climate where we can’t, or rather don’t, talk about older people in the context of domestic abuse.”  

Dewis Choice is based at the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice at Aberystwyth University.  It is led by Sarah Wydall, working with Co-Investigators Rebecca Zerk and Elize Freeman.  Since 2015, Dewis Choice have spoken with over 1,700 older people and has raised awareness with nearly 20,000 practitioners and public members.

The Out of Sight podcast can be accessed at http://outofsightpodcast.co.uk