20. Disabled Most Likely to be Victims of Serious Crime

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Tash Newsletter
March 2000
Title: The Invisible Victims
Author: Dan Sorensen

Faculty evaluator: Julie Allen, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Jennifer Swift, Natalie Guilbault

Research consistently finds that people with substantial disabilities suffer from violent and other major crime at rates four to ten times higher than that of the general population. Estimates are that around 5 million disabled people are victims of serious crime annually in the United States.

People with substantial disabilities represent at least 10 percent of the population of our country (including, among others, 1.8 percent with developmental disabilities, 5 percent with adult onset brain impairment, and 2.8 percent with severe major mental disorders). An estimated 40 percent of all American families have loved ones or close friends with substantial disabilities. Being disabled is not just being a person with a physical handicap. It also includes people with developmental disabilities (such as mental retardation, epilepsy, etc.), traumatic brain injury, severe major mental disorders, degenerate