OBJECTIVES: to describe the situation of abuse against the elderly in the municipality of Camaragibe, in the metropolitan region of Recife, Pernambuco. METHODS: cross sectional study with a representative sample of the elderly population in the municipality, subject to abuse and respondents to a previously designed questionnaire according to the objectives of the study. RESULTS: of the 315 elderly, 95.4% were in the sixth and seventh decade of life and 65.2% were women and received up to two minimum wages (91.4%), were house owners (87.5%), living in neighborhoods with deficient sewage systems (84.1%) and low education level (97.1%). Seventy six claimed they were abused. Among these 65.2% were females. The most common type of violence was psychological (62.1%), followed by physical abuse (31.8%), perpetrated by family members themselves within their own homes. Women were more abused than men. 71.3% did not react and did not know where to seek help. Their perception is that the community is indifferent to the problem. CONCLUSIONS: education measures could be implemented to clarify the elderly on their rights, to facilitate denouncements and obtainment of support or help.
Violence; Aged; Elder abuse