One in four disabled people experienced violence in the last year

> > One in four disabled people experienced violence in the last year
Back

One in four disabled people experienced violence in the last year

One in four disabled people have experienced violence in the last year and those with mental health conditions are the most vulnerable according to the recently published study ‘Prevalence and risk of violence against adults with disabilities’.

14/03/2012

The research, conducted by Liverpool John Moores University and the World Health Organization (WHO), aimed to quantify violence against the 15% of adults worldwide that have an impairment. 

Studies published between Jan 1, 1990, and Aug 17, 2010, that reported on the estimated prevalence of violence against adults with disabilities, or at risk of violence compared with non-disabled adults were examined.  Only studies reporting violence occurring within the 12 months before the study were used.  Information on 21,557 disabled people was investigated.

Findings showed that the prevalence of recent violence in different impairments was 24.3% of people with mental health conditions, 6.1% of those with learning difficulties and 3.2% in those with non-specific impairments.

The researched concluded that adults with disabilities are at a higher risk of violence than are non-disabled adults, and those with mental illnesses could be particularly vulnerable. The research was funded by the WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability.

Simon Lawton Smith, from the Mental Health Foundation, said the results were unsurprising.

‘Evidence shows that people with serious mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the perpetrator’.

However, the report mentioned available studies have weaknesses and also gaps in the types of disability and violence looked at. Robust studies are not available for most regions of the world, particularly low-income and middle-income countries.

Sources for this article are:

The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 28 February 2012 available at: www.thelancet.com/journals
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health