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fear of crime, focused fear older women, victimization, vulnerability



  1. Porter, Eileen J. PhD
  2. Lasiter, Sue MS


Older women have been viewed as vulnerable and fearful of crime, but little is known about how they try to reduce the risk of intrusion relative to encounters with troublesome visitors at home. During a phenomenological study of the home care experience, 6 women (aged 82-93 years) reported such an encounter with someone they knew. Our purpose was to describe intentions relative to encounters and the relevant personal-social context. Because the women were trying to keep a particular person at arm's length, the new concept of focused fear was proposed. Six contextual elements were discerned and understood as facets of vulnerability.