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Disability abuse is when a person becomes a victim of abuse because they have a disability. Victimization can include physical
violence, sexual violence, psychological or emotional abuse, and
Because abuse is about power and control, people with disabilities may face unique challenges and barriers to accessing support.
Current knowledge about victimisation of persons with
disabilities is based on a small number of studies, and little is known
about victimisation of specific groups such as persons with traumatic
While anyone can experience violence, abuse or neglect, people with disabilities are at greater risk.
The latest 2021 published NZCASS results give us the following insight into the prevalence of family violence where the victim has a disability: "The results reveal that if the adult population with disability had the same age structure as the general adult population, 6.5% would have been victims of offences by family members in the previous12 months. This was significantly higher than the national average of 2.2%. On the other hand, if people without disability had the same age structure as the general adult population, 2.1% would have been victims of offences by family members in the previous12 months. This was not significantly different from the national average of 2.2%."
Risks for people with disabilities: