People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be victims of violent crime, according to new federal data.
A report released this month by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that between 2011 and 2015, people with disabilities ages 12 and older were victimized at two-and-a-half times the rate of the general population.
Moreover, this population faced three times the odds of the most serious violent crimes like rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault.
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The findings are based on data collected through the National Crime Victimization Survey. The nationally-representative poll of those ages 12 and older is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and asks respondents about any experiences with rape, assault, theft, burglary and other crimes — whether reported or unreported to the police — within the previous six months.
Among people with disabilities, the agency found that individuals with cognitive issues were most likely to be targeted.
In 40 percent of cases, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that individuals with disabilities who were victimized knew the perpetrator compared to just 32 percent of people without disabilities.
Men and women with disabilities faced similar odds of victimization, according to the data.
The report indicated that 1 out of 5 crime victims in this population are believed to have been targeted because of their disability.