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Elder Crime and Victimization

There were 846 homicides reported in 2001 of people 60 years of age and over. (Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]. 2002. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were 3.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons among individuals 65 years of age and older in 2001. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. September 2002. Criminal Victimization 2001. Changes 2000-01 with Trends 1993-2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Fewer persons age 65 years and older were non-fatal violent crime victims in 2001: 3.2 people per 1000 of the population, down 13.5 percent from 2000. (Ibid.)

Rates of non-fatal violence against individuals age 65 or older were 14 percent less in 2000 than they were in 1991. Homicide rates in the same age group declined 51 percent from 1991 to 2000. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2002. Age Patterns in Violent Victimization, 1976-2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The proportion of individuals losing at least $5000 in Internet frauds is higher for victims 60 years and older than it is for any other age category. (Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]. 2002. 2001 Internet Fraud Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

More than 25 percent of all the people who reported telemarketing frauds to the National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) during the first six months of 2002 were age 60 years and older. (National Fraud Information Center. August 2002. One in Four Telemarketing Victims Age 60 and Older. Washington, DC: National Consumer League.)

The top three telemarketing frauds against seniors are: magazine sales for which the average loss is $98; credit card protection plans for which the average loss is $229; and sweepstakes and prize offers for which the average individual consumer loss is $2,752. (Ibid.)

Between the years 1992 to 1997, the elderly were victims of 2.7 million property and violent crimes: 2.5 million household burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and household thefts; 46,000 purse snatchings and pocket pickings; and 165,000 non-lethal violent crimes including rape, robbery and aggravated and simple assault. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000. Crimes Against Persons Age 65 or Older, 1992-1997. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Neglect of the elderly is the most frequent type of maltreatment and represents 48.7 percent of the abuse reported to Adult Protective Services (APS). (National Center on Elder Abuse.1998.The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study: Final Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families and Administration on Aging.)

Emotional and psychological abuse are the second most reported elder abuses followed by physical abuse. Thirty-five percent of elder abuse reported to APS is emotional and psychological abuse and 25 percent are reports of physical abuse. (Ibid.)

Thirty percent of the elder abuse reported to APS involves financial exploitation. Abandonment is the least reported form of elder abuse. (Ibid.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Fulfill the Promise April 6–12, 2003
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