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Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”Developments in Critical Victimology$
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Marian Duggan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338765

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338765.001.0001

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The ‘ideal’ rape victim and the elderly woman: a contradiction in terms?

The ‘ideal’ rape victim and the elderly woman: a contradiction in terms?

(p.229) Twelve The ‘ideal’ rape victim and the elderly woman: a contradiction in terms?
Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”

Hannah Bows

Policy Press

There is now an extensive body of literature examining sexual violence against women and girls. However, there remains an important gap in relation to ‘older’ women, who have been almost entirely absent from research, policy and practice developments. Traditionally, older age has been reviewed as a protective factor for violent crime, including sexual violence, and both criminologists and feminists have largely neglected those aged over 60 in their scholarship. This chapter examines this absence and argues that ‘real rape’ myths and stereotypes have contributed to the invisibility of older victims. Findings from the first national study to examine sexual violence against people aged 60 and over are presented and discussed in light of the existing literature.

Keywords:   sexual violence, ageing, elder abuse, elder victims, victimology and older victims, violence against older people

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