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Guest Blog: West Wales Domestic Abuse Service – Supporting Older People

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In our latest guest blog, Andrea Hanratty, Older Persons Support Worker with West Wales Domestic Abuse Service, highlights her work to support older people and help people to think differently about domestic abuse.

Andrea Hanratty, Older Persons Support Worker with West Wales Domestic Abuse Service

In July 2023 I took on the role of Older Persons Support Worker with West Wales Domestic Abuse Service, supporting over 55’s who have experienced Domestic Abuse across Ceredigion.   One of my challenges is to update people’s ideas of what domestic abuse is and how that looks for older members of our community.

Historically Domestic Abuse was considered to be something that happened between husband and wife and was wrongly identified by many as just physical violence.  However, over the last few decades our understanding has evolved and we now recognise that domestic abuse is not just violence, but that it is about power and control.

Anyone who has experienced domestic abuse in any form can reach out for help from West Wales Domestic Abuse Service, regardless of age, gender or identity.

One significant difference in supporting older people with Domestic Abuse is the likelihood that they will continue to remain connected to their perpetrator through family ties.  We can provide help by working with people to look at their circumstances and provide safety plans and support in dealing with domestic abuse.

We can also signpost to other services that provide support with well-being, benefits, pension credits and other housing-related support.

Since taking on the role, I have formed links with doctors’ surgeries, hospitals care homes, and community-based groups to raise awareness of what domestic abuse looks like for older people, and I am working in the community across the County to overcome barriers to deliver support for those who need it.  I have a person-centred approach and a good listening ear, always aiming to provide the right support in the right way for each individual and their unique circumstances.

Get help and support

If you live in West Wales and are experiencing abuse, or are concerned about someone else, you can contact West Wales Domestic Abuse Service on 01970 612225 or visit

The Live Fear Free Helpline also provides information and support to people living throughout Wales. Call 0808 80 10 800 or visit

To find out more about other local services in Wales that can offer help and support to people experiencing or at risk of abuse, visit the Commissioner’s directory:

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