How People with Disabilities Are More Vulnerable to Abuse

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FISA Foundation has partnered with many local nonprofits to increase awareness about the prevalence of abuse against people with disabilities, and to support the development of strategies to respond to and prevent abuse.

This month, FISA grantee and partner, Blackburn Center has authored this blog on the topic:

The Truth About Abuse: How People with Disabilities Are More Vulnerable to Abuse

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, gender, religion or sexuality.  Yet some groups of people are uniquely vulnerable to abuse.  In particular, people with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than people without disabilities.  They may also face barriers to obtaining support, such as inaccessible services, or services that are not tailored for the unique needs of people with disabilities.

A study by the Spectrum Institute Disability and Abuse Project found that 70% of respondents with disabilities experienced some form of abuse by an intimate partner, family member, caregiver, acquaintance or stranger.  Of those that reported abuse:

  • 87.2% experienced verbal/emotional abuse

  • 50.6% experienced physical abuse

  • 41.6% experienced sexual abuse

  • 37.4% experienced neglect

  • 31.5% experienced financial abuse

  • 37.3% reported the abuse to law enforcement

Only 10% of the alleged abusers were arrested in the cases that were reported to law enforcement.

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