Indeed, 49 percent said they were simply looking for someone "to talk to and do things with." Of course, dating isn't always easy, particularly for those who may be dipping back into the dating pool after years on the sidelines. adults aged 57 to 85 surveyed for a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported having sex at least once within the past year: Among the oldest group of sexually active adults, 54 percent were having sex at least twice a month, while 23 percent reported engaging in sex at least once a week.

But there are many ways for older Americans to meet and get to know one another, many geared specifically to their cohort: • Online dating and social networking sites, like , offer tuition waivers or discounted classes for seniors. Just as older Americans aren't letting the years stop them from dating, they're not letting it end their sex lives, either. The study published August 23 defines sex very loosely to include mutual activity that doesn't require intercourse.

• The NIH notes that women in the midst of menopause, which causes estrogen levels to decline, may experience pain during intercourse.

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"I've seen women go a week with a serious injury before getting help," shares the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence's Deborah Tucker. Many fear triggering an attacker's anger or having a plan to flee foiled.

And it's no wonder: "Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship," the Domestic Violence Intervention Program reports.

This is especially true for the spouses of law enforcement.

Multiple studies have found that 24-40% of police officer families experience domestic violence (in contrast to 10% of families in the general population).

"We are not aiming for great changes in the second half of life, but looking for fulfillment in who we are now," says Sharon Romm, a Seattle-based psychiatrist and author of "Dating After 50: Negotiating the Minefields of Midlife Romance." "Not everyone wants another marriage.

Someone might want a companion for going to concerts on Saturday night and not much more. "Many over 50 are no longer looking for that one person, that 'soul mate'," says Dr.

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The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) reports that the FBI "estimates violence will occur during the course of two-thirds of all marriages." Occupation, income level, urban or suburban environment — studies show that none of these factors is an indicator of more or less incidents of domestic abuse.

And while 85% of domestic abuse victims are women, the U. Department of Justice's 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey's findings suggest that women's experiences are hardly equal: "Lesbian couples experience less intimate partner violence than do heterosexual couples."And on the flip side, men who endure domestic abuse living with male intimate partners are the victimized male group.

Nearly double the percent of cohabitating men reported "being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a male cohabitant" compared to those residing with, or married to, women.

(Life Wire) -- Like 20- or 30-something singles, older men and women are dating and embracing their sexuality.