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


4.6 Injuries of Senior Victims of Violence

Table 4.8 indicates that over nine of every ten senior victims of police-reported violence incur no injuries or, at most, minor injuries (Ogrodnick, 2008). Major injuries result in about two percent of the cases and fatalities occur in one percent. These last figures are probably inflated as the most serious episodes of violence are much more likely to be reported to the police than are minor incidents. Injuries are slightly more likely to occur when the accused and victim are family members than in those cases involving friends, acquaintances, or strangers.

Table 4.8 Injuries Incurred by Senior Victims of Violent Crime by Relationship With the Accused, 2006

Level of Injury All Victims Violent Offences Committed by Family Members Violent Offences Committed by Others
None 58% 54% 60%
Minor 35% 38% 33%
Major 2% 2% 3%
Death 1% 1% 0
Unknown 5% 5% 4%
Total 100%* 100% 100%

* Column does not add up to 100% due to rounding errors.
Source: L. Ogrodnick (2008) Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. Ottawa: Statistics Canada (UCR2, 2006).

Injuries vary by sex and age, as well as by relationship with the accused. Table 4.9 shows that the rates of violence for non-seniors is eight to nine times that of seniors, depending on sex. While male seniors have a higher rate of violent victimization than female seniors, the situation is in part the reverse for those under 65 years of age. Male non-seniors are still most likely to incur serious injuries or to be killed in a violent incident, followed by female non-seniors, male seniors, and female seniors. Female non-seniors are slightly more likely to suffer a minor injury than are male non-seniors, followed by male and then female seniors. Females under 65 are also the most likely to be victims of violent incidents in which no physical injuries have been found to occur. One might suspect that some Level 1 sexual assaults and threats by abusive or estranged spouses fall in this category.

Table 4.9 Injuries Incurred by Violent Crime Victims, by Sex and Age, 2007 (Rates per 100,000)

Level of Injury Female Senior Victims Male Senior Victims Female Non–Senior Victims Male Non–Senior Victims
None 56 73 452 406
Minor 33 48 363 347
Major 2 4 11 30
Death .6 .8 .9 1.9
Unknown 12 15 115 98
All Violent Offences 104 141 943 873

Source: Statistics Canada (2009), Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Incident Based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, (March).