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Elder Abuse: A Son Abuses His Mother

Elder Abuse: A Son Abuses His Mother [Photo: Phil Warren, flickr]

Every year 260 thousand New Yorkers experience some form of elder abuse. One 79 year old woman was abused by her own son.
Ms. E, who preferred to use a pseudonym to protect her identity, bought a house with her son and his wife. When her son began to have problems with his wife, he started to take it out on his mother. He became verbally and psychologically abusive. He would threaten to kick Ms. E out of the house and burn it down. She wasn't allowed to see family and friends. He would destroy furniture when he was angry.  Ms. E knew that her son used to hit and even choke his wife so she was frightened.
"He was staring at me and coming face-to-face and I thought one day he might hit me because he'd be face-to-face with his eyes bulging out. It was really scary," Ms. E said.
She lived in fear for seven years. One day her son called her from his work and accused her of interfering with his business. He demanded answers and said he would be home in ten minutes. That's when Ms. E broke her silence. She called her daughter who told her to call the police. They eventually connected her with the Jewish Association Service for the Aging or JASA. They helped her get an order of protection against her son and provided her with other necessary support.
"I feel great now. I feel strong. I feel much better than before," Ms. E said.
She has a message for anyone who might be experiencing the same kind of abuse.
"I will tell them to look for help. Don't wait until it's too late. I almost waited too late," Ms. E said.
Ms. E is now temporarily living with her daughter and granddaughter. She'll eventually move back into her house with the order of protection against her son still in place.