It is very close to my heart to talk about people with special needs, as my brother is one of them.
It is important to raise awareness of how much more prevalent abuse is amongst those with intellectual disabilities or special needs.
One in three children with an identified disability for which they receive special education services are victims of some type of maltreatment (i.e., either neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse) whereas one in 10 non-disabled children experience abuse. Children with any type of disability are 3.44 times more likely to be a victim of some type of abuse compared to children without disabilities. (Sullivan & Knutson, 2000).
Looking specifically at individuals with intellectual disability, they are 4 to 10 more times as likely to be victims of crime than others without disabilities (Sobsey, et al., 1995). One study found that children with intellectual disability were at twice the risk of physical and sexual abuse compared to children without disabilities (Crosse et. al., 1993).
Children may not report abuse because they don’t understand what abuse is or what acts are abusive. Communication problems that are part of many disabilities also make it difficult for children to understand and or verbalize episodes of abuse.If there is very limited communication, then these children are even more prone to abuse as they can’t even speak.
Another thing to consider is that disability can increase vulnerability to abuse, mainly because of the way society views disabled or special needs individuals.
We have to protect those more vulnerable children as well as all others..They deserve equal protection!
Love Athina ♥