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


4.9 Feelings of Personal Safety and Precautions Against Crime

The 2004 GSS examined the concerns Canadians had about crime, as well as the activities in which they were involved to reduce their vulnerability to it. Seniors showed a slight improvement in their satisfaction with their overall personal safety from the previous cycle of the GSS administered in 1999—92 percent versus 89 percent (Ogrodnick, 2007). Table 4.12 illustrates that there were no significant differences between seniors and non-seniors in the extent to which they were satisfied with their personal safety. While non-seniors were slightly more likely to report that they were concerned about being home alone in the evening, seniors were more likely to report some worry about walking in their neighbourhoods at night. Non-seniors were generally more likely to change their activities or to avoid particular places in order to reduce the risk of victimization. Non-seniors were also more likely to take self-defence courses. Seniors, on the other hand, were more likely to lock car doors and to stay home at night due to the fear of going out alone.

Table 4.12 Seniors' and Non-Seniors' Concerns and Precautions Relating to their Personal Safety

Concerns or Activities Relating to Personal Safety Seniors Non-Seniors
Satisfied with overall personal safety 92% 94%
Concerned about being home alone in the evening 17% 20%
Worried about walking in neighbourhood after dark 21% 15%
Changed activities or avoided certain places to reduce risk of victimization 23% 37%
Took self-defence course 6% 14%
Locking car doors 64% 58%
Staying home at night due to fear of going out alone 15% 9%

Source: L. Ogrodnick (2007) Seniors As Victims of Crime 2004 and 2005. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (GSS, 2004).