Government data show Americans with disabilities are much more likely to be victims of violent crimes.
People with disabilities are significantly more likely to be victims of violent crimes, according to data from the Department of Justice.
The age-adjusted rate of nonfatal violent victimization — rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault — was 36 per 1,000 for people with disabilities in 2013, twice the rate for people without disabilities.
The 1.3 million of these types of violent crimes against people with disabilities accounted for 21 percent of all such violent crimes in 2013.
The U.S. Census Bureau says that about 14 percent of the American population is considered to have a disability – a hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care or independent-living limitation that restricts their full participation at school, at work, at home or in the community. Since seniors are far more likely to have disabilities than younger people, this number is likely to increase as the population ages.
The largest differences in rates between people with disabilities and people without were for victims aged 12-15 and victims aged 35-49. In both groups, persons with disabilities were three times more likely to be victims of violent crimes. The rate for young teens was 166 per 1,000 people in 2013.
In 2013, 24 percent of crime victims with disabilities thought they were targeted because of their disability, up from 13 percent in 2009. Rates of violent victimization were higher for people with cognitive disabilities than for people with other types.
Particulars of the crimes were also different. Crimes against people with disabilities were more likely to occur during daylight hours. The violence was also more likely to be committed by someone the victim knew: an intimate partner, relative or friend or acquaintance.