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

4. CANADIAN RESEARCH AND DATA ON CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST SENIORS

4.3 Relationships Between Accused and Victims

The GSS and UCR2 are consistent when it comes to identifying the proportion of cases in which the elderly victim of violence and the accused knew one another prior to the offence (Table 4.4). Both sources indicate that in about two-thirds of the cases there was some prior relationship between the victim and accused and, in the remaining one-third of the cases, the parties were complete strangers (Ogrodnick, 2007; Statistics Canada, 2009). In those cases in which the parties were known to one another, the accused are about equally likely to be family members as friends or acquaintances. Data available on family homicides provide a glimpse into the characteristics of perpetrators of family violence against seniors. In the case of homicide, the perpetrators are most likely to be spouses or adult sons (Ogrodnick, 2008).

Table 4.4 The Relationship Between the Accused and Victim of Violence

Source Knew
Perpetrator
Family Friend/
Acquaintance
Stranger
UCR2
(2007)
71% 36% (usually adult child or spouse) 35% 29%
GSS
(2004)
64%     36%

Sources: L. Ogrodnick (2007) Seniors As Victims of Crime 2004 and 2005. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (GSS, 2004); Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (2009), Incident-Based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

The percentage of cases in which the accused and victim of violence were known to one another was almost identical for both seniors and non-seniors (71% vs. 72%, respectively) (Statistics Canada, 2009). However, incidents involving seniors were more likely to occur within the family (36% vs. 27%) and those involving non-seniors were more likely to occur between friends or acquaintances (45% vs. 35%).


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