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Disabled Brits at higher risk of violence

Feb. 24, 2013 at 10:43 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Disabled people living independently in Britain are at higher risk of being victims of domestic and non-domestic violence, researchers say.

Hind Khalifeh and colleagues from University College London and King's College London arrived at the conclusion after analyzing the 2009-10 British Crime Survey, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 44,398 adults living in residential households in England and Wales.

The survey did not include individuals with disabilities living in institutions, Khalifeh said.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, found compared to those without any disability, the odds of being a victim of violence in the past year were three-fold higher for those with mental illness-related disability, and two-fold higher for those with physical disability.

The odds were similarly raised for physical and sexual violence, and for domestic and non-domestic violence, the study said.

The analysis also showed victims with disability were twice as likely to experience emotional difficulties following violence than non-disabled victims.

In 2009, in England and Wales, about 224,000 people with disabilities experienced violence, resulting in an excess economic burden of $2.3 billion.

The authors said overall, the prevalence and risk of violence was consistent with reports from other countries such as the United States and Taiwan.

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