Disabled Have Double the Rate of Violent Crime


In 2013, the rate of violent crime against persons with disabilities (36 per 1,000) was more than twice the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities (14 per 1,000), per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

Persons who had disabilities experienced an estimated 1.3 million nonfatal violent victimizations, which accounted for about a fifth (21 percent) of all violent victimizations in 2013.

These findings are based on BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which classifies disabilities according to six limitations: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care and independent living.

Persons with cognitive disabilities experienced the highest rate of violent crime (67 per 1,000) among all disability types measured, similar to previous years. Persons with a single disability type (35 per 1,000) and persons with multiple disability types (37 per 1,000) experienced violent crime at similar rates.

Serious violent crime—rape or sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault—accounted for a greater percentage of all violent crime against persons with disabilities (39 percent) than persons without disabilities (29 percent).

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of violent crime victims with disabilities believed they were targeted due to their disability.

Nearly half (48 percent) of violent crime against persons with disabilities was reported to police in 2013, similar to that reported for persons without disabilities (44 percent).

The reasons persons with disabilities did not report the crime to police were because they dealt with it in another way (44 percent), they believed it was not important enough (21 percent), they believed police wouldn’t help (19 percent) or other reasons (38 percent).

Other findings include—

In 2013, about 65,500 rapes or sexual assaults, 159,100 robberies, 293,400 aggravated assaults and 781,500 simple assaults were committed against persons with disabilities.

Males with disabilities (37 per 1,000) and females with disabilities (35 per 1,000) experienced violent crime at similar rates in 2013.

Among persons with disabilities in 2013, whites (38 per 1,000) and blacks (31 per 1,000) experienced higher rates of violent crime than persons of other races (15 per 1,000).

About 51 percent of violent crime against persons with disabilities involved victims with multiple disability types in 2013.

Nonpolice victim services agencies served more violent crime victims with disabilities (12 percent) than violent crime victims without disabilities (8 percent) in 2013.

The report, Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009–2013 – Statistical Tables (NCJ 248676), can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

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