ZAGREB, October 6, 2019 – Violence against elderly people is an increasing problem in Croatia as more cases of neglect and physical, mental and economic abuse of senior citizens are reported.
People above the age of 65 are frequently attacked by unknown persons, as well as by their family members, primarily for property-related reasons. A total of 6,316 crimes against property targeting persons aged 60 and over were recorded last year, a conference in the southern coastal city of Split was told recently.
People above the age of 60 were most often the targets of aggravated theft (3,294), theft (2,277), fraud (447), property damage (141), robbery (68) and computer fraud (419). Also reported were 239 crimes against life and limb, including 99 cases of grievous bodily harm and 14 cases of murder, 733 crimes against personal freedom, including 710 cases of threat, and 108 crimes against marriage, family and children.
High Misdemeanours Court judge Branka Žigante Živković drew attention to specific types of economic violence against the elderly which are not listed in the law, including agreements on life-long support. She said that such agreements often trigger violence against senior citizens by their family, citing a case where an elderly person was subjected to extreme forms of violence by their family so the person in their care would die as soon as possible and the family would get the land and other property bequeathed to them under the agreement.
Petar Škrmeta of the Social Welfare Centre in Split said that society quickly responds in cases of violence against children, but there is still not enough public awareness of violence against the elderly.
Škrmeta said that the number of cases of violence against the elderly in Split was increasing by ten percent from year to year. “We need to raise awareness of domestic violence and neglect of elderly persons; we need to sensitise the public. This should be discussed and dealt with through team work and cooperation,” he stressed.
The head of the Crime Prevention Division at the Split-Dalmatia County Police Department, Paško Ugrina, said that the matter required a systematic approach and stressed the need for cooperation between the police and other institutions.
More news about crime in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.