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

Publication Date

December 2010


Karen Amendola, Meghan Slipka, Edwin Hamilton, and Julie Whitman


There is limited research on the extent to which elderly victims use various services or engage in protective behaviors, as well as their efficacy. In this study, we surveyed 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. Using community and police samples, we (1) assessed the extent to which victim groups differed on various demographic characteristics, risk factors, and protective behaviors; (2) identified differences between victim groups based on the type and frequency of victimization; (3) analyzed subsequent victimization; (4) calculated the proportion of cases in which abuse increased, decreased, maintained, or desisted; and (5) examined  whether there were any demographic characteristics, risk factors, or protective behaviors that predicted the course of abuse over time.

The full technical report is available here:

Research Design

Non-experimental, Review of research

Research Methods

Secondary data analysis, Interviews, Surveys

Recommended Citation

Amendola, K.L., Slipka, M.G., Hamilton, E.E., & Whitman, J.L. (2010). The course of domestic abuse among Chicago’s elderly: Risk factors, protective behaviors, and police intervention. Police Foundation.