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Course of Domestic Abuse Among Chicago's Elderly: Risk Factors, Protective Behaviors, and Police Intervention

NCJ Number
Date Published
10 pages

This study surveyed elderly Chicago residents (age 60 or over) in order to examine potential differences between the elderly residents who experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse (victims) and received a visit from a senior services officer (SSO) or domestic violence liaison officer (DVLO) from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and those who did not.


The study also included a sample of elderly residents who had not been abused (non-victims) in order to establish risk factors that differentiate victims from non-victims. The study found that those elderly victims of abuse who received a visit from a specially trained officer were more likely to have engaged in service-seeking and protective measures than those who did not receive such visits. Victims who received visits from officers specially trained in handling domestic abuse cases were more likely to have experienced a range of abuse types and behaviors. Prevalence rates for elder abuse were similar to those found in other studies of elder abuse. For financial abuse/exploitation, the prevalence rate was 2.28 percent; for psychological/emotional abuse, the prevalence rate was 4.61 percent; for physical abuse, the prevalence rate was less than 1 percent; and for neglect, the rate was 1.37 percent. Regarding risk factors, victims and non-victims differed in race and household size; Blacks were more likely to be elder abuse victims than Whites. In addition, victims were significantly more likely to live with two or more people than were non-victims, and non-victims were more likely to live alone. In the current study, researchers conducted interviews with 121 victims who did not receive a visit from a specially trained officer and 48 victims who had received such a visit. A total of 159 non-victims were interviewed. 28 references

Date Published: January 1, 2010