NSW Pilot Study Shows People with Disabilities are Much Likelier Victims to Violence

A pilot study conducted by the NSW (New South Wales) Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) found that people living with disability are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent crimes compared to the total NSW population.

The pilot study found that 17% of people accessing a disability support were victims of a recorded crime in NSW between 2014-2018, 6.5% experienced a violent incident, and 4.4% experienced a domestic violence-related crime. “Aboriginal women with disability were found to be particularly vulnerable to violent crime with 18% experiencing a violent crime during this 5-year period,” BOCSAR said.

“People with disabilities were more than twice as likely to be victims of violent and domestic violence-related crime.” “People with disabilities were also more likely to experience violent and domestic violence-related revictimization within 12 months compared with victims with no known disability.”

BOCSAR said the study also found police action rates were lower for incidents involving victims with disability, especially for violent incidents. The study shows the odds of a person being proceeded against for a violent offence involving a person with disability was 17% lower than for a violent incident involving a person without disability. “Police action rates were particularly low where the victim had both cognitive and physical disabilities,” the Bureau said.

BOCSAR Director Suzanne Poynton said the ground-breaking study offered the first comprehensive view of victimization among people with disabilities in NSW. “Filling this significant knowledge gap is important for developing disability policy in the justice system,” Dr Poynton said. More on this story here