The following Associated Press article comes to us from The Inclusion Daily Express. It is easy to picture a woman alone navigating on a dark street with her wheelchair becoming a target for a mugging or worse. It’s easy to picture a blind or visually impaired person walking with a cane being roughed up or worse. It’s equally easy to imagine people with developmental disabilities becoming targets of cruel sport as we saw not long ago in Corpus Christi, Texas. These scenarios are characteristic of what we might imagine as indefensible people trying to make their ways in a world of jeopardy. But the matter is more complicated than this for disability in these United States is a co-dynamic of poverty, unemployment, lack of educational opportunities, and a lack of adequate housing and transportation. These are the incitements for the victimization of people with disabilities and not, as the public might imagine, the mobility or conceptual issues inherent in the disabilities proper. And yet I suspect that the latter scenario will be the imagined response of many who read the AP article.
DOJ Study: People With Disabilities Targeted More For Violent Crimes
October 1, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC– [Excerpt] Disabled people are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than nondisabled people, according to a government study.
The study on crime against people with disabilities, released Thursday by the Justice Department, found that people 12 or older with disabilities in 2007 experienced about 716,000 nonfatal violent crimes, including rape or sexual assault, robbery and assault. They were also victims in 2.3 million property crimes, such as burglaries, motor-vehicle or other thefts.
According to the study, the first of its kind, the violent crime rate was 32 per 1,000 for disabled people 12 or older. That’s compared to 21 per 1,000 for the nondisabled for the same age group.
It is unclear to what extent disabled people were targeted because of their physical status. Nearly 1 in 5 of the violent-crime victims believed their disability was the motivating factor.
Disabled people more likely to be victims of crime
Press release “First National Study on Crime Against Persons with Disabilities
Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2007 (U.S. Department of Justice)