Age of victims & perpetrators
Most perpetrators were younger than their victims. Most of the cases reported to the police involved a woman aged 60-69. There were few very cases involving a male victim. The research found that most of the perpetrators were male 98%) and were typically younger than the victim (66% were aged under 60). One of the key differences in relation to older rape cases compared to younger cases that emerged in the present study was the age of the perpetrator. National statistics over the last decade, along with smaller research reports, have revealed that the majority of perpetrators are older than victims.
However, in the present study, the overwhelming majority of perpetrators were younger than victims. The most common age group for victims in reported cases was 60-69, whereas offenders were aged under 60, with those aged between 40 and 49 accounting for 42 per cent of cases. However, despite being overall younger than victims, offenders were not as young as in other research (Groth, 1978; Pollack, 1988; Jeary, 2005) and the speculations driven by earlier research and widespread media reports that perpetrators are usually significantly younger than their victims is not born out in this research.