Crime and Abuse Against Seniors:
A Review of the Research Literature With Special Reference to the Canadian Situation


4.5 Victimization and Age

In general, seniors at more advanced ages report fewer acts of violence than do their younger counterparts (Table 4.7). Thus, those between the ages of 65 and 74 report more acts of violence to the police than do those between 75 and 84 years of age (Ogrodnick, 2008). Those over 85 years of age have even lower rates of police-reported victimizations. The exception is that the oldest group has a higher rate of victimizations by strangers than do those 75 84 years of age and the rate of violence by strangers they report approximates the rate reported by those between 65 and 74. One might speculate that older seniors are more likely to be in an institutional setting and therefore less exposed to violence by family, friends and acquaintances. Alternatively, violence within an institutional setting may be less likely to be reported to the police. This is certainly an issue meriting further exploration.

Table 4.7 Rates of Family Violence by the Age of Seniors and Accused-Victim Relationship, 2006

Accused-Victim Relationship Victims 65–74 Years of Age/100,000 Victims 75–84 Years of Age/100,000 Victims 85–98 Years of Age/100,000
Family 53 35 20
Friends/Acquaintances 44 24 17
Strangers 47 28 44
Total 144 87 81

Source: L. Ogrodnick (2008) Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. Ottawa: Statistics Canada (UCR2, 2006).