Reference : Sexual violence in older adults: a Belgian prevalence study
Scientific journals : Article
Human health sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Sexual violence in older adults: a Belgian prevalence study
Nobels, Anne mailto [Universiteit Gent - UGent > Department of Public Health and Primary Care > > >]
Cismaru Inescu, Adina mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > ESPRIst >]
Nisen, Laurent mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > ESPRIst >]
Hahaut, Bastien mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > ESPRIst >]
Beaulieu, Marie mailto [University of Sherbrooke > School of Social Work and Research Centre on Aging > > >]
Lemmens, Gilbert mailto [Universiteit Gent - UGent > Department of Head and Skin > > >]
Adam, Stéphane mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie > Psychologie de la sénescence et du vieillissement >]
Schapansky, Evelyn mailto [Universiteit Gent - UGent > Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law > > >]
Vandeviver, Christophe mailto [Universiteit Gent - UGent > Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law > > >]
Keygnaert, Ines mailto [Universiteit Gent - UGent > Department of Public Health and Primary Care > > >]
BMC Geriatrics
BioMed Central
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United Kingdom
[en] Sexual abuse ; Sexual assault ; Elder abuse and neglect ; Ageing
[en] Background: Sexual violence (SV) is an important public health problem which may cause long-lasting health problems. SV in older adults remains neglected in research, policies and practices. Valid SV prevalence estimates and associated risk factors in older adults are currently unavailable. Objective: To measure lifetime and past 12-months sexual victimisation in older adults living in Belgium, its correlates, assailant characteristics and the way that victims framed their SV experiences. Design: Cross-sectional general population study. Setting: Community-dwelling, assisted living and nursing homes. Participants: 513 people of 70 years and older living in Belgium. Methods: SV was measured using behaviourally specific questions based on a broad definition of SV. Participants were selected via a cluster random probability sampling with a random route finding approach. Information on sexual victimisation, correlates, assailant characteristics and framing was collected via structured face-to-face interviews. Results: Lifetime SV prevalence was 44% (55% F, 29% M). Past 12-months prevalence was 8% (9% F, 8% M). Female sex and a higher number of sexual partners were associated with lifetime SV (p <.05), non-heterosexual sexual orientation with past 12-months SV (p <.05). Correlates generally linked to elder abuse and neglect were not linked with SV. ‘Someone unknown’ was identified as most common assailant. Conclusions: SV appears to be common in older adults in Belgium. Both correlates and assailant characteristics seem to differ from previous studies on elder abuse and neglect. Recognising older adults as a risk group for sexual victimisation in research, policies and practices is of the utmost importance.
International Centre for Reproductive Health ; CARE-ESPRIst ; Psychology of Aging Unit ; Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy
Service Public Fédéral de Programmation Politique scientifique (Belspo) - SPF Programmation Politique scientifique (Belspo) ; Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen - FWO
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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