Victims with Disabilities Need An Inclusive Solution

Living with disabilities can happen to anyone, and people with disabilities are more likely to be in need of victim services. Advocacy and technology may be the key to much-needed help.

Victims with Disabilities Need An Inclusive Solution 

In the United States, there are 61 million people living with disabilities, and it is likely that most people will either become disabled or know someone who is disabled in their lifetimes. Frequently, issues faced by marginalized groups may seem like nonissues to people outside those groups. But living with disabilities can happen to anyone at any time. 

Research shows that individuals with a disability are more than twice as likely to be a victim of violent crime as those without a disability, and access to victim services for this group is often lacking. Without appropriate access to victim services, people with disabilities are made more vulnerable and often are abused further. Victims with disabilities deserve access to support and safety resources that are inclusive and timely. 


Why people with disabilities don’t always get the help they need

Living with disabilities is common, but resources, services, and outreach can not be a “one size fits all” approach. There is a wide range of the types of disabilities that people can have. The main six distinct types are mobility, cognition, hearing, vision, independent living, and self-care. 

Victim services must adapt to the person in need, and there must be advocates and victim services professionals willing to meet people where they are. According to research, people with disabilities are three times more likely to experience rape, sexual assault, aggravated assault, and robbery than those without disabilities, and only 13% of victims of violent crime with disabilities receive support from victim services. In order to effect meaningful change, it is important to identify the root causes. Here are some reasons why victims with disabilities are not getting the help they need:

According to data collected from 2017 to 2019, people with disabilities were victims of 26% of all nonfatal violent crime while accounting for about 12% of the population. People with disabilities are disproportionately affected by violent crime, and we need specially trained advocates, police officers, and victim service professionals to help.


Advocacy is key to help these victims

All victims need reliable and accessible services. But for victims with disabilities, there is a lack of attention to the fact that studies show the rate of abuse of victims with disabilities is higher compared to the general population. Advocates, loved ones, and victim service providers can do so much to help. Here are some of the ways:


Technology can bridge the gap for victims with disabilities

Every person has needs that must be met: food, shelter, security, etc., and sometimes people with disabilities are not viewed that way – like regular people with regular needs. People who are marginalized by a disability are in need of help when they become victims of crime. Advocacy is key in meeting these victims where they are and getting them to the services that they need. 

Victim services are for all people regardless of race, disabilities, gender, or sexual orientation, and VINE helps ensure all victims have no-cost access to services and programs. Because VINE is the nation’s leading automated victim notification system, victims and concerned citizens can know that they are getting timely and trusted custody status information, which helps give all victims peace of mind. VINE works to connect victims to services that help victims as they are.

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