Dr. Janice Du Mont is a Senior Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, and a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she is also the Director of the Collaborative Specialization in Women’s Health. Her research in the areas of sexual assault, domestic violence, and elder abuse spans the social sciences, health sciences, and the law, focusing on who is being victimized as well as the chronic and short-term physical and psychological sequelae of, and enhancing the health and legal sector and public policy responses to, these issues. Dr. Du Mont has served as an Advisor to the World Health Organization initiatives to document the criminalization of sexual assault across world regions and the uses and the impacts of medico-legal evidence in sexual assault cases. In 2013, she was the recipient of the International Association of Forensic Nurses Vision Award in recognition of her contributions to the fields of gender-based violence and forensic nursing.
Du Mont, J.
Identification of research priorities to address violence against older women
Background: Older women experience certain forms of abuse disproportionately and differently as compared to older men, and may need specific services and supports that take into account the impact of gender, age, and other factors such as poverty. Despite this, the elder abuse and violence against women sectors have largely worked in isolation from each other. This has often resulted in a failure to provide older women with the full complement of resources needed to prevent and mitigate the occurrence and harmful health and social consequences of victimization.
Objectives: To address this problem we brought together interdisciplinary and international experts already working at the cutting edges of the elder abuse and violence against women sectors to identify research priorities to advance knowledge, practice, and knowledge mobilization in relation to violence against older women.
Methods: An on-line survey asking elder abuse and violence against women sector experts to list six research priorities and rank them in order of importance was completed by 44 local and international government decision-makers, researchers, directors of service provision, and leaders of professional associations from October 11 to November 13, 2017. The priorities were collated and a mean rank calculated. The top five priorities from the survey were then re-ranked in an in-person meeting on November 21, 2017 of 21 invited experts, and a mean rank was calculated.
Results: Of the 44 respondents to the on-line survey and 21 participants in the in-person meeting, 63% and 86%, respectively, rated their expertise with respect to violence against older women as very high or high. After the second round of ranking, the top five research priorities (with 1 being the highest) were: 1) Development and evaluation of interventions/best practices for care, 2) Knowledge mobilization including development of education, training, and resources for diverse audiences, 3) Examination of contextual and contributing factors, 4) Evaluation of currently available services, and 5) Examination of different types of violence and abuse.
Conclusion: While there are many potential priorities in research in relation to violence against older women, in this study, we found that the development of interventions should be an immediate area of focus for funding agencies and government decisions makers.