A general unwillingness of people with disabilities to disclose victimization to anyone may be especially problematic because many of the crimes against them may be committed by known offenders on whom they depend for assistance. For instance, when Sobsey (1994) examined offender-victim relationships with data from the University of Alberta Abuse and Disability Project, he found that among 215 cases of abuse among adults with a developmental disability, 52 percent were victimized by someone who was associated through contact with disability services. Other research has also found that a large proportion of victimizations are committed by service providers and family members and by peers with disabilities. Turk and Brown (1992) found that 58 percent of offenses against adults with disabilities occurred in the home of either the victim (48 percent) or the perpetrator (10 percent). Because many surveys, including the NCVS, are conducted from the respondent's home, where perpetrators may be within earshot, victimization may go unreported.
Although violent crime in the United States has declined over the past five years, certain groups appear to remain at disproportionately high risk for violent victimization. In the United States, people with developmental disabilities—such as mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and severe learning disabilities may be included in this group. While the scientific evidence is scanty, a handful of studies from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain consistently find high rates of violence and abuse affecting people with these kinds of disabilities.
Crime victims with developmental disabilities: A review essay.
However, the research resulted in its own publication: “Crime Victims with Developmental Disabilities: Report of a Workshop.” It was written by the Committee on Law and Justice in the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council....