People with disabilities experienced about twice as many violent non-fatal crimes as those without disabilities in 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. There were about 730,000 non-fatal violent cimes and 1.8 million property crimes against people age 12 or older that year. The findings echo a similar survey a year ago; trends cannot be discerned because the methodology of the two surveys differed.
The rate of nonfatal violent crime against people with disabilities (40 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older, after adjusting for age) was about twice the rate for those without disabilities (21 per 1,000). The study generated age-adjusted criminal victimization rates for victims with disabilities, who are typically older than victims without disabilities. In general, the age adjustment accounts for victimization rates that decrease as the age of victims increase. Six types of disabilities were identified: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living. A disability was defined as a sensory, physical, mental or emotional condition lasting six months or longer that makes it difficult for a person to perform activities of daily living. Among those measured, people with cognitive disabilities had the highest risk of violent victimization. Nearly 15 percent of violent crime victims with disabilities believed they were targeted for violence due to their disability.