National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault

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Incarcerated Victims

American Indian/Alaska Native people with physical, mental, cognitive and mobilitiy disabilities suffer some of the highest rates of Sexual Violence in the United States.

 

An American Indian/Alaska Native person with disabilities, regardless of gender, is much more likely to be a victim of sexual assault than a person without disabilities.  Women with cognitive disabilities are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women without disabilities. 

 

According to the United States Department of Justice, there are several reasons why people with disabilities are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general population, including:

 

    • conf1 Persons with disabilities can be less likely to recognize and avoid danger;

     

    • conf1 Persons with physical disabilities may be less likely to be able to protect themselves or escape harm;

     

    • conf1 Persons with disabilities may have problems contacting or communicating with law enforcement;

       

      • conf1 Caregivers may be the perpetrators of the sexual assault, or the person with disabilities may be otherwise dependent on the perpetrator;

       

      • conf1 There may be a lack of shelters or other accommodations with the means to assist persons with disabilities.

 

Perpetrators of sexual violence against victims with disabilities are most often known to the victim.  Victims with disabilities are often repeatedly victimized by the same perpetrator. Almost 90% of sexual assault victims with disabilities know or were familiar with the perpetrator of the crime.


Although American Indian/Alaska Native women with disabilities are much more likely to be sexually assaulted than the general population, less than three percent of these crimes are reported.   

 

Several factors may explain this startling statistic.  First, the majority of perpetrators of sexual violence against American Indian/Alaska Native victims with disabilities serve as the victim’s primary caregiver.  Thus, the victim may be dependent upon the perpetrator for food, clothing, healthcare, and shelter.  Additionally, the victim may not want to report the crime because she fears being institutionalized or ejected from her home without the necessary, supportive care provided by the perpetrator. The nature of the disability may also hinder communicating the violence to authorities.  Further, victims with cognitive disabilities may not comprehend or have the awareness that they have been victimized. 

Publications:


Medical Resources - 6

Other Resources - 13

 

Full Publication List

 

 

  • Featured Publications

 

Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2007

 

American Indians and Crime

 

This report, authored and compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, discusses the National Crime Victimization Survey's conclusions regarding the frequency and prevalence of violence persons with physical, mental, cognitive, or mobility disabilities in the United States in 2007.

 

 

Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2011 - Statistical Tables

 

Crime Against Persons with Disabilities

 

This document, authored and compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, contains tables illustrating frequency and prevalence of violence persons with physical, mental, cognitive, or mobility disabilities in the United States between2009 and 2011.

National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault, a project by the Southwest Center for Law and Policy © 2013

This project was supported by  Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K045 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessary represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice. All rights reserved. | Privacy policy