There are many words/emotions that people can feel after receiving new information or statistics. Emotions such as surprise, disgust, doubt, pride, anger, shock, fear, happiness, or awe are a few emotions we have all encountered … Often, those responses and words depend on the background of a person and their base thoughts, perceptions, knowledge, biases whether known or unknown, personal experience(s), or any number of other factors that can influence our response upon being presented with new statistics or information. Also, how this new info or stat is presented to us along with our interest level may impact our response. Clearly, there are numerous factors I just mentioned and probably many others not mentioned that help sculpt our decisions once presented with something new.
I brought all of that up, spoiler alert, because I want to share some information and statistics with you. Hopefully by bringing you aware of all those underlying factors you will take this in with an open mind and take a moment to process what I give you. As a person with a disability (I am a C-6 Quadriplegic of over 13 years), I’m an easy target to somebody that wants to commit a crime of some sort. Plain and simple, people with disabilities present opportunity to a predator.
· Bureau of Justice Statistics did an analysis from 2009-2015 of crimes against persons with disabilities, rate of violent victimization towards persons with disabilities were at least twice the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities
· DOJ stats only count for ages 12+ and do not include institutions or the nearly 373,000 in group homes
· People with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at much higher numbers — "more than seven times higher than the rate for persons with no disabilities."
Please be careful and aware of your surroundings along with looking out for those you love. Conduct background checks along with use of references when possible, especially for an employee working with a person with multiple disabilities. People with multiple disabilities are at even a greater risk than somebody with one disability. If you are worried or concerned try and notice if there are signs of abuse or personal items lost. Victims may feel too ashamed or embarrassed to come forward initially. Voice your concerns early and to the appropriate personnel/authorities. With support, understanding, and simple belief in the person about their experiences, we will be able to move forward and put an end to these disgraceful acts against people with disabilities.