Survivors with Disabilities


  • For those with a dis/ability, sexual violence is often times ignored as a problem. The information regarding survivors with dis/abilities is fairly new and it is important to know that it does happen.

  • Domestic violence can cause temporary or permanent disability, or exacerbate a pre-existing disability.

  • Women living with dis/abilities are one and a half to two times as likely as non-disabled women to experience abuse. 

  • Many of these cases go unreported (roughly 70-85% of cases) with only 5% of reported cases actually resulting in prosecution (compared to 70% of cases against persons with no dis/abilities). 


  • Another issue surrounding survivors with dis/abilities is that they tend to stay in dangerous conditions longer than other sexual violence cases.

  • For those who have a dis/ability, reporting has an increased risk for the survivor becoming institutionalized, losing basic decision-making rights, or custody of children. They also often lack resources due to lack of transportation or because the survivor is dependent on their abuser. 

  • The abuser in an estimated 98% of cases of sexual abuse is well-known, trusted by, and in a care providing position to the victim. In about 32% of these cases, abusers are family members or acquaintance with about 44% of cases having the abuser being in a position dealing with the person's dis/ability (such as a residential care staff). 
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