Access and Relevance of Data Sources Research

Access and Relevance of Data Sources

Identify two areas that are relevant to criminal justice and criminology:

Elder maltreatment; and,

Intimate partner violence.

Complete the following information based on two examples:

Topic No. 1: Elder maltreatment

Elder maltreatment involves a wide range of behaviors that typically include violence that are directed against individuals aged 60 years and above (Understanding elder maltreatment, 2011). In a majority of elder maltreatment cases, the perpetrator is someone known by the elder, typically a caregiver or another individual trusted by the elder (Understanding elder maltreatment, 2011). The six common types of elder maltreatment listed by the CDC are as follows:

Physical: This type of elder maltreatment takes place when an elder is injured as a result of hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, burning, or other show of force.

Sexual: This type of elder maltreatment involves forcing an elder to take part in a sexual act when the elder does not or cannot consent.

3. Emotional: This type of elder maltreatment refers to behaviors that harm an elder’s self-worth or emotional well being; examples include name calling, scaring, embarrassing, destroying property, or not letting the elder see friends and family.

4. Neglect: This type of elder maltreatment is the failure to meet an elder’s basic needs; these needs include food, housing, clothing, and medical care.

5. Abandonment: This type of elder maltreatment occurs when a caregiver leaves an elder alone and no longer provides care for him or her.

6. Financial: Finally, this type of elder maltreatment involves illegally misusing an elder’s money, property, or assets (Understanding elder maltreatment, 2011, para. 2).

The CDC site also provides additional resources on this issue as well as external links to further information resources.

What are the sources for these data and information?

1. National Center on Elder Abuse. National Elder Abuse Incidence Study: Final Report. Washington, DC: American Public Human Services Association, 1998.

2. Anetzberger, G. The Clinical Management of Elder Abuse. New York: Hawthorne Press, 2004.

3. American Medical Association. American Medical Association white paper on elderly health. Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs. Archives of Internal Medicine 1990; 150:2459-72.

4. Lachs MS, Williams CS, O’Brien S, et. al. The Mortality of Elder Mistreatment. Journal of the American Medical Association 1998; 280:428-32.

5. Lindbloom EJ, Brandt J, Hough L, Meadows SE. Elder Mistreatment in the Nursing Home: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2007; 8(9):610-16.

6. Nerenberg, L. Caregiver Stress and Elder Abuse. Washington, DC: National Center on Elder Abuse, 2002. [cited 2008 Aug 3]. Available from: / Main_Site/pdf/family/caregiver.pdf.

Identify at least five important facts from this site

1. There remains a dearth of timely research concerning elder maltreatment.

2. There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of elder maltreatment on the part of a caregiver, including substance abuse, high levels of stress, lack of training in caring for elders and depression.

3. Elders who are physically abused may suffer severe emotional effects as well.

4. Elders who are physically abused can die from their injuries.

5. Many cases of elder maltreatment go unreported because of fear.

Describe the relevance and application of this information to criminal justice professionals.

Frequently termed “elder abuse,” violence against the elderly became the focus of a growing amount of research during the closing decades of the 20th century (Adler & Denmark, 1999). Early studies on the problem found maltreatment rates of between 4 and 10%, with the frail and impaired elderly being at especially high risk of experiencing maltreatment (Adler & Denmark, 1999). These rates, though, are believed to be based on erroneous data because of underreporting that is attributable to the sanctity of the family unit as well as the environment in which it is perpetrated (Adler & Denmark, 1999). For instance, Adler and Denmark report that, “Widespread under-reporting of elderly abuse also traces to the fact that, when confined to private dwellings, it is hidden from public scrutiny. Then, too, many elderly are unwilling to report their abuse by relatives” (1999, p. 177). Moreover, these rates may be significantly underreported because of a lack of awareness on the part of healthcare and social work professionals concerning the reporting requirements for these types of incidents. According to Adler and Denmark, “Many of the professionals who work with the aged are unaware of the need to detect, record, and report abuse, even in states where there are laws mandating these procedures” (1999, p. 177). There also remains a need for more training for emergency room physicians and nurses who will likely be among the first to encounter elder abuse and neglect in identifying elder maltreatment; however, primary care physicians should also receive this type of training since elder victims may be unable or reluctant to seek treatment for their injuries at an emergency room and will depend on the primary care providers to identify instances of elder maltreatment (Koin, 2005). Criminal justice professionals are concerned about the prevalence of elder maltreatment because the number of elderly is projected to continue to increase well into the mid-21st century (Koin, 2005).

Topic No. 2:

Topic No. 2: Intimate partner violence

Content: summarize the information provided on this topic

Intimate partner violence (IPV) takes place in situations where two people are living in a close relationship, but the “intimate partner” that is involved extends to include current and former spouses as well as dating partners (Understanding intimate partner violence, 2011). There is also a range of IPV that begins with an isolated violent episode and extends to continuous battering (Understanding intimate partner violence, 2011). Intimate partner violence can be categorized into the four following types of behavior:

1. Physical violence: This type of IPV occurs when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or other type of physical force.

2. Sexual violence: This type of IPV involves forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.

3. Threats of physical or sexual violence: This type of IPV includes the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm.

4. Emotional abuse: This type of IPV consists of threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loved ones, or harming a partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples include stalking, name-calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family (Understanding intimate partner violence, 2011, para. 2).

In many cases, emotional abuse begins a spiraling escalation of intimate partner violence, leading to more serious physical or sexual assaults and a number of different types of IPV can occur simultaneously (Understanding intimate partner violence, 2011).

What are the sources for these data and information?

1. Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence: findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington (DC): Department of Justice (U.S.); 2000. Publication No. NCJ 181867. Available from: URL:

2. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Intimate partner violence [online]. [cited 2011 Jan 07]. Available from URL: tp&tid=971#summary.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Atlanta (GA): CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2003. [cited 2006 May 22]. Available from: URL:

4. Max W, Rice DP, Finkelstein E, Bardwell RA, Leadbetter S. The economic toll of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Violence and Victims 2004;19(3):259 — 72.

Identify at least five important facts from this site

1. The goal of the CDC is to prevent intimate partner violence before it takes place.

2. Educational programs that teach healthy relationships appear to have some positive effect on reducing the incidence of IPV.

3. Like elder maltreatment, IPV is most likely significantly underreported.

4. Although almost 5 million women are victims of IPV each year, almost 3 million men are also victims of IPV annually.

5. There were 2,340 deaths attributed to IPV in 2007 (70% female; 30% male).

Describe the relevance and application of this information to criminal justice professionals.

Despite an increasing amount of research into intimate partner violence, no single theoretical approach has been offered that can explain it (Begun, 1999). The research to date indicates that there is an inextricable relationship between intimate partner violence and problems with stress, depression, or substance abuse (Anderson, 2002).As also noted by the CDC, IPV exists along a “violence continuum” that includes “abusive behaviors that occur within intimate partnerships, such as controlling choices and resources, humiliation and denigration, harassment, stalking, coercion, and so forth” (Begun, 1999, p. 239). This means that intimate partner violence would be of particular interest to criminal justice professionals since early detection and interventions are required in order to prevent an escalation in the level and types of violence that is involved. Unfortunately, current reporting mechanisms for IPV do not include information concerning the severity, motivation, or context of the violence (Anderson, 2002), making this an additional area of interest by criminal justice authorities.


Adler, L.L. & Denmark, F.L. (1999). Violence and the prevention of violence. Westport, CT:


Anderson, K.L. (2002). Perpetrator or victim? Relationships between intimate partner violence and well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(4), 851-852.

Begun, A.L. (1999). Intimate partner violence: An HBSE perspective. Journal of Social Work

Education, 35(2), 239.

Koin, D. (2005, September/October). Beyond CSI: How forensic techniques combat elder abuse. Aging Today, 26(5), 9.

Understanding elder maltreatment: Fact sheet. (2011). Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from

Understanding intimate partner violence. (2011). Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from

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