Sex Assaults Common For Intellectual Disability Victims

Unpublished Justice Department data on sex crimes show that people with intellectual disabilities are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities, NPR reports. It’s one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in the U.S. and it’s seldom talked about.

Unpublished Justice Department data on sex crimes show that people with intellectual disabilities are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities, NPR reports. It’s one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in the U.S. and it’s hardly talked about at all. An NPR investigation found that people with intellectual disabilities are at heightened risk during all parts of their day. They are more likely than others to be assaulted by someone they know. The assaults, often repeat assaults, happen in places where they are supposed to be protected and safe, often by a person they have been taught to trust and rely upon.

Last year, a woman named Pauline was living with her longtime caretaker and that woman’s extended family. On the night of Feb. 20, she was in the basement of the family’s second home, in Pennsylvania. A police criminal complaint said that Pauline was raped by two boys who were part of the family. Leigh Ann Davis runs criminal justice programs for The Arc, a national advocacy group for the 4.7 million people with intellectual disabilities, their families and the professionals who work with them. At the group’s convention in November in San Diego, Davis asked the audience how many of them had dealt with sexual assault or sexual harassment in their lives? Almost every woman — about 30 — raised her hand. Then Davis asked how many knew someone with an intellectual disability who had been the victim of sexual harassment or assault? Only two hands went up. “What does that say about where we are as a society?” Davis says, “Where people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to be victimized, but we don’t see more hands being raised.”

from https://thecrimereport.org