People with disabilities are at a greater risk of being the victims of violence and of suffering mental ill health when victimized, according to research published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Hind Khalifeh and colleagues from University College London and King's College London.
A recent World Report on Disability highlighted violence as a leading cause of morbidity among disabled people.
The research, published Feb 20, is the first to assess the extent to which people with disabilities experience different kinds of violence and the associated health and economic costs, according to Science Daily.
On the whole, the authors found that, compared to those without any disability, the odds of being a victim of violence in the past year were three-fold higher for those with mental illness-related disability, and two-fold higher for those with physical disability.
The odds were similarly raised for physical and sexual violence, and for domestic and non-domestic violence.
Their analysis also revealed that victims with disability were twice as likely to experience emotional difficulties following violence than non-disabled victims.
The study concluded: "Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of violence prevention programs in people with disability that address risk factors specific to this group, such as care-giver stress or communication barriers to disclosure."