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Disabled People Are Abused More Often

Garcia & Artigliere

Adults with disabilities, unfortunately, are the victims of abuse far more often than adults without disabilities. A research brief from the National Center on Elder Abuse provides some alarming statistics that reveal the scope of the problem:

  • People with disabilities are three times more likely to be the victims of violent crime than people without disabilities.
  • People with disabilities may be abused by the people who take care of them, including family members, friends and other paid or volunteer personal assistants and caretakers.
  • Nearly one-third of adults with disabilities who have a personal assistant report that the assistant had abused them.
  • People with disabilities are more likely to be abused if their income is low.
  • Abuse against people with disabilities can take many different forms, including physical, sexual, neglect or withholding of care, verbal, emotional and financial.
  • A study of women with disabilities found that 68 percent reported being the victim of one or more forms of abuse in the previous year. Of those who reported abuse, 30 percent reported sexual abuse during the previous year. Another study of women with disabilities found that 67 percent had been the victim of physical abuse and 53 percent of sexual abuse during their lifetimes.
  • A study found that half of adults and children with disabilities who had been sexually abused or assaulted had each been victimized more than 10 times.
  • Among women 55 or older who had been victims of sexual abuse, one third had physical disabilities and half had psychiatric disabilities.
  • More than half of men with disabilities report being physically abused. Almost 12 percent report physical abuse by a personal assistant.

One in three people over the age of 64 have disabilities, compared to one in eight people between the ages of 35 and 64. That means that the abuse of people with disabilities is a problem that disproportionately affects older adults. If you have an elderly loved one with a disability and you ever suspect abuse, don’t keep your concerns to yourself. An elder abuse attorney can tell you what your loved one’s legal rights are and how they can help protect your loved one. Call the highly experienced attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 for a free consultation.


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