Disabled people over three times more likely to be victims of serious violence

19 April 2016

Disabled people or people who have a long-term illness are almost three and a half times more likely to be victims of serious violence, analysis from the charity Victim Support has found.

Victim Support analysed the Crime Survey for England and Wales and found:

  • violent crime has fallen by almost 50% for the non-disabled population over the past 10 years
  • but over the same period, the number of disabled people who were victims of violence increased by 3.7%

In stark contrast to the rest of the population, disabled people are at greater risk of violent crime than they were 10 years ago.

The findings are published today in Victim Support's insight report, An easy target?: risk factors affecting victimisation rates for violent crime and theft.

'These findings are deeply alarming and warrant both further investigation and action.

'We recommend that further research is urgently undertaken, so that we can understand why the risk is so high and increasing, and how best to protect and support people with a limiting disability or illness.

'In the meantime, it is essential that professionals working with the disabled, including those working in health, social care and the justice system, are made aware of the increased risks to this group and know the sources of support and information available to them, should they fall victim to violence.' — Lucy Hastings, director of Victim Support

The insight report also finds that, compared to non-disabled people, disabled people are:

  • twice as likely to suffer violence without injury
  • 1.6 times more likely to be a victim of personal theft
  • 1.4 times more likely to be a victim of household theft

Victim Support offers free and confidential information and practical help to anyone affected by crime, regardless of when the crime took place or if the police are involved.

Visit the Victim Support website or call their supportline team on 0808 1689 111.

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