Daphne III Action: Prevalence Study on Violence and abuse against Older Women.

Project Details


In Belgium the target population of the study comprised home-dwelling, female Belgian citizens aged 60 years and older. In the research two samples were used. First, a sample was randomly selected by a private company, which applied a proportional stratified sampling by using age (60-69 years, 70-79 years, 80+) as the stratification variable. The sampling fraction consisted of 1,500 persons. This first sample was used for the postal survey. The second sample (n=250) consisted of women aged 75 and over. Initially four municipalities were randomly selected in the Dutch-speaking part of Prevalence Study of Abuse and Violence against Older Women - Final Report 68 Belgium: Ternat, Wilrijk, Leuven, and Zemst. In those municipalities the second sample was drawn. This sample was also randomly selected by a private company. The addresses from this sample were used for personal visit interviews.
The data collection had two phases. Firstly, a postal survey was conducted to examine quality of life and elder abuse among women aged 60 years and over. Secondly, since it was expected that women aged 75 and older would be under-represented in the participation of the postal survey, an additional research was conducted amongst that age group. A researcher from the university, together with students gathered these data. Respondents were initially invited to participate in the research. The questionnaire was meant to be self-administered, although volunteers were allowed to clarify the meaning of questions, in case this was requested. However, 25.7% of respondents needed help filling in the questionnaire. In order of importance, the respondents were mainly assisted by their daughter, current partner, or the interviewer.
Respondents were assured of the voluntary nature of their participation, their right to refuse to answer, and the privacy of their responses. The final dataset included n=436 respondents.
One reason for the low response rate of the postal surveys is because the subject concerned a quite sensitive topic. Moreover, no reminders were sent because of economic constraints. The high age of the sample and possible cognitive problems due to ageing could also have affected the response rate.
Effective start/end date9/04/098/04/11


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Flemish discipline codes

  • Pedagogical and educational sciences
  • Sociology and anthropology