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Crime Odds Nearly Triple For Those With Disabilities

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The number of violent crimes committed against people with disabilities is on the rise, new government data indicates.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics said Tuesday that there were 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes against persons with disabilities in 2012, up from the roughly 1.1 million estimated for 2011.

The findings come from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and asks about experiences with crime — whether reported or unreported to police — among those age 12 and older living in the community.

Individuals with disabilities encountered violent crime at nearly three times the rate of those in the general population, the report found. Simple assaults were the most commonly cited crime against this group followed by robbery, aggravated assault and rape or sexual assault.

Those with cognitive disabilities had the highest rate of victimization and about half of violent crime victims with disabilities had multiple conditions, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. Dadvocate says:

    This is not new news, but it should stimulate a frank discussion around the topic of safety in the broad community. The issue of risk management suffers from a lack of empirical study and understanding. Best practices regarding individual safety are ad hoc.

    Yet, armed with no data or information on risk management or mitigtion, the government and many leading civil rights informed advocates have embraced a one size fits all policy prescription of light or absent protection and safety measures in the name of “independent living” and unfettered self direction for all in the broad community, rejecting any structured lifestyles or living arrangements as “institutional”, and unworthy of funding.

    Sadly, I think that the dozens of frightening headlines we now read about the wandering and elopement of children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities are going to take an increasingly darker turn in coming years if policies relating to community placement can’t accommodate reasonable limitations and structure in residential and program offerings.

    Independent living and self direction in the broad community is a right for those who have the capacity to exercise it, but it is decidedly not an individual mandate and is inappropriate for some, as Olmstead clearly points out. Some community placements are likely little more than dangerous experiments. The ongoing dismantling of current DD networks and infrastructure in favor of independent living and family home based placements ONLY isn’t the panacea some think it will be. I fear too much collateral damage will occur in not recognizing that a continuum of well funded options is necessary.

  2. catvocate says:

    Good for you Dadvocate! You used my favorite word in relation to services of all types for people with disabilities especially ID’s. That word is continuum. It is as is people with disabilities are supposed to magically aquire skills but they have to be taught. Doing so on a continuum makes sense because it is the typical way we all increase our skills. Sending people into programs with no expectations of growth and learning is a bad practice. On the other hand having high expectations without a way to teach those new skills is just as bad. Let individual programming and common sense prevail.

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