People with disabilities are significantly more likely than others to be victims of violence and are often more emotionally impacted when they are taken advantage of, new research indicates.
Odds of experiencing violence are two to three times higher for people with disabilities as compared to those without, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE this month.
The risk extends to physical and sexual violence in domestic and non-domestic situations.
Moreover, those with disabilities who are victims are twice as likely as others to have emotional difficulties in the aftermath of their experience, according to the study.
The findings come from an analysis of the 2009-2010 British Crime Survey, which includes data from over 44,000 adults living in England and Wales. The researchers indicate that their results are consistent with reports from the United States and other countries.
Clinicians need to be more aware of the risk for violence and the toll it takes on those with disabilities, researchers from the University College London and King’s College London indicate in the study.
“Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of violence prevention programs in people with disability that address risk factors specific to this group, such as caregiver stress or communication barriers to disclosure,” the study authors wrote.