Research, policy and activism around violence against women has primarily focused on young women, who have considered most at risk of victimisation. Over the last few decades, research has gradually emerged showing high levels of violence and abuse against older women. However, this abuse has been defined by the victim's age rather than gender and, consequently, has been labelled 'elder abuse'. This conceptual framing of violence against women has not only obscured the extent of the problem, but has led to poorly informed prevention and response initiatives. This paper draws on two recent studies examining different forms of violence against older women, namely sexual violence and homicide, from a feminist perspective. Implications for future research, policy and practice are discussed.

About Dr Hannah Bows: Dr Bows is Assistant Professor in Criminal Law at Durham Law School. Her research interests coalesce around age, gender, socio-cultural and spatial causes of violence against women. Her recent projects include a national study of elder homicides, a separate national study exploring sexual violence against older people and a recent project examining the policing of extreme pornography. She is currently working on a project examining sexual violence at UK music festivals. Outside of academia, Hannah is the chair of Age UK Teesside and serves as a magistrate on the County Durham and Darlington bench.

Twitter: @Hannah_Bows