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NCJ Number: NCJ 229883     Find in a Library
Title: Elder Abuse Emerges From the Shadows of Public Consciousness
  Document URL: HTML PDF 
Author(s): Philip Bulman
  Journal: NIJ Journal  Issue:265  Dated:April 2010  Pages:4 to 7
Date Published: 04/2010
Page Count: 4
  Series: NIJ Journal
  Annotation: This article reports on two studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice that examined the prevalence of elder abuse and its detection through the forensic examination of the difference between accidental and inflicted bruising, and the article concludes with descriptions of elderly abuse cases in which prosecutors and victim-witness advocates have cooperated in gaining convictions of perpetrators of elder abuse.
Abstract: A survey of approximately 5,000 Americans ages 60 and older, which questioned them about their experiences of abuse in the previous year as well as their lifetimes, found that 1.6 percent had experienced physical mistreatment. Of this group, only 31 percent had reported their abuse to police. Strangers accounted for only 3 percent of these assaults; family members perpetrated 76 percent of the cases. Among those surveyed, 0.6 percent reported being sexually abused in the previous year, and approximately 16 percent of the victims said they had reported the assault to the police. Family members were responsible for about half of the assaults. Other types of abuse included financial exploitation (5.2 percent), potential neglect (5.1 percent), and emotional abuse (5.1 percent). Another study found that bruises that were inflicted on victims in confirmed incidents of the physical abuse of elderly victims differed in characteristics and locations on the body compared to bruises that occurred accidentally. Abusive bruises were often larger, with more than half being 2 inches in diameter or larger. Physically abused elders were also more likely to have bruises on the head and neck, (especially the face) as well as on the posterior torso. Regarding factors in the successful prosecution of elder abuse cases, The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia has worked effectively with victim-witness advocates in elder abuse cases. Victim-witness advocates have performed tasks that range from trial preparation to helping victims find new housing.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Offense statistics ; Crime detection ; Crimes against the elderly ; Elder Abuse ; Investigative techniques ; Elderly victims ; Injury investigations ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2001-IJ-CX-K014; 2005-IJ-CX-0048
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: For other articles in this issue, see NCJ-229884-89; for an overview of all articles, see NCJ-229882.
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