People with intellectual disability are more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime than people without a disability. MacDonald (2008) cites research into the criminal victimisation of people with intellectual disability which shows that:
- People with intellectual disability are more likely than their non-disabled counterparts to have been victims of multiple instances of domestic violence or sexual abuse and, in both disabled and non-disabled groups, women are more likely than men to have been the victims of violence
- Compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability are:
- 2.9 times more likely to be assaulted
- 10.7 times more likely to be sexually assaulted
- 12.7 times more likely to be victims of robbery
- The majority of women with intellectual disability are sexually exploited by the time they reach adulthood
- Children with any type of disability are 3.4 times more likely to be abused compared to children without disabilities
- People with intellectual disability are 1.5 times more likely to become victims of crime than people without disabilities.
There is a strong perception in the community that people with disability are generally ‘protected’ from becoming victims of crime. However, due to the nature of intellectual disability and the life circumstances that people experience, many people are, in fact, extremely vulnerable.