Thursday, March 8, 2012

Victimization of 'older' Canadians - 'Elder Abuse'?


Another survey on seniors as victims: 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, a self-reported survey
As someone who is interested in real data, statistics reliability and validity, I have to question the data in such surveys.
If you read the numbers, you will find that we seniors are less victimized than those ages 15 - 24, but we get much of the 'elder abuse' funding!

Perhaps money should be spent, less on seniors, than in generally giving all citizen the language, power and courage to report and resolve these issues. From violent crime, household crime, to assault, it isn't 'elder abuse', it is assault and theft, and needs to be addressed as such.

This data, while stable from the five-year stats of 2004, is still 'self-reported' data. I wonder, if one does not report it to police, are there those who will not report it to these scientists? Perhaps the millions we spend on 'Elder Abuse', should be spent on policing, citizen advocates, working with offenders (not the PMO's and American Tea party 'get tough on crime' stance), Victim-Offender MediationRestorative JusticeRestorative Justice in Canada (PDF) and Victim Justice Funds.
From 2009 data, 'older Canadians' = 55+ (Freedom 55)
  • More than 154,000 (2%) in 10 provinces reported being victims of a violent crime in the previous 12 months.
  • Reported close to 241,000 incidents of violence, representing a rate of 28 per 1,000 population. (About the same as 2004, when data were last collected.)
  • Reported the lowest rates of violent victimization. (About one-tenth the rate for the youngest group, aged 15 to 24.)
  • The types of violence were similar to those reported under the age of 55.
More likely than younger people to report it to police:
  • Almost half (46%) of all violent victimizations against older people called police, compared with just over one-quarter (28%) of violent incidents against younger people.
Household Crime
  • Households solely composed of residents aged 55 and over, 8% reported being the victim of a household crime in 2009. This the same as 2004.
  • The rate of household victimization for older households was less than one-half the rate reported by younger households. 
  • Theft of household property was the most common form of non-violent crime reported by both groups.
  • The majority (91%) of older Canadians felt satisfied with their personal safety from crime. However, this proportion fell to 83% among older people who had been the victim of a violent crime during the past year.

Note: This Juristat article presents information on self-reported violent and household victimization of people aged 55 and over in the 10 provinces. This study also examines the reporting of victimization incidents to police, older Canadians' perceptions of personal safety, their sense of community belonging, and their use of crime prevention methods.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4504.
The Juristat article "Victimization of older Canadians, 2009" (85-002-X, free)

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