The data from Dr Bows suggest that sexual violence against older women is not common.
In UK, women aged 60+ consisted of:
• 0.6% recorded rapes (Bows & Westmarland 2017)
• 1.4% sexual assaults by penetration
• Estimates of sexual violence in past 12 months range from 0.8% to 8% (Bows 2017)
BUT! Significant limitations with these data sources.
What do we know about SV against OW. Most research has been prevalence with younger woman. How common or prevalent SV is for older women? Statistics say they are not common compared to younger age groups. Recorded incidents (to police) very low for older women and small minority of total number of incidents. Only 0.,6%, minority of total number.
If look across research into SV OW estimates ranges from 0.8 to 8%. Big variation in estimates suggesting not a common experience for older women. SV is gendered across life course. Gendered crime, women are mainly victims but men become increasingly vulnerable to sv as they age.
Although SV appears rare, there are limitations with data sources These prevalence rates must be base line figures for bare minimum.
OW often excluded from larger scale data collection on DV. Only to 59 till HB work. CSEW. Living with cognitive impairment or institutional setting are routinely excluded. So some vulnerable OW are excluded from what gets counted. Also different definitions of DV & old age & SV. Some very broad and inclusive, others only covered under criminal law. How much SV we are counting. How do OW understand and define SV (later). Different studies have different methodologies, some talk to women, some talk to care staff. Most victims of SV don’t report to police.