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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner

Elder Crime and Victimization

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

Although the number of homicides of people age 65 and older has been decreasing, this age group still has the highest percentage of homicides that occur during the commission of a felony. (Fox, James and M. Zawitz. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2002. Homicide Trends in the US: 2000 Update. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were 3.4 victimizations per 1,000 persons among individuals 65 years of age and older in 2002. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2003. Criminal Victimization 2002. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Fewer persons age 65 years and older were non-fatal violent crime victims in 2001: 3.3 people per 1000 of the population, down 12.4 percent from 2000. (Ibid.)

More than 33,000 people 60 and older were treated for nonfatal assault-related injuries (not including sexual assault) in emergency departments in 2001. Assaults happened almost equally at home (25.9 percent) and in public places (27.5 percent). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 29, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52(34): 812-816)

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. 2003. 2002 Internet Fraud Report. Washington, DC:U.S. Department of Justice.)

More than 35 percent of all the people who reported telemarketing frauds to the National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) during the first six months of 2003 were age 60 years and older. (National Fraud Information Center. TeleFraud Report – First Half of 2003. Washington, DC: National Consumer League.)

In a recent analysis of nursing home inspections and complaint investigations from 1999 to 2000, it was found that more than 9 percent - 1,601 homes - were cited for causing actual harm or immediate jeopardy to residents. Over 30 percent -5,283 homes - were cited for an abuse violation that had the potential to cause harm. (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform, Special Investigations Division, Minority Staff. July 2001. Abuse of Residents is a Major Problem in US Nursing Homes.)

Abuse violations cited during annual state inspections of nursing homes have almost tripled since 1996 – 5.9 percent in 1996 to 16.0 percent in 2000. (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.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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