Nine out of ten people with intellectual or development disabilities have suffered from victimization
News | 26-10-2016

A study about victimology on people with intellectual or development disabilities (DID) says that nine out of ten interviewed people have suffered from some kind of victimization during their lives. The research was jointly carried out by the Research Group on Child and Adolescent Victimization (GReVIA); Dincat Plena Inclusió (Catalan Association for Intellectual and Development Disabilities), and Vicky Bernadet Foundation.

The research –done with a 260 adults with DID, aged between 20 and 71- had different objectives: discovering the prevalence of experience of these people victimizations, identifying cases of multi-victimization, and analyzing the socio-demographical and victimological characteristics of the victims in order to take care of the defense of rights of this collective and improve their quality of life.

The study assesses aspects such as the prevalence of the victimization experiences, the place where they happened or the profile of the aggressor, and they obtained data from five kind of victimizations: common offences and violence between equals, victimization from the carer, sexual victimization, exposure to violence and online victimization. 

Research conclusions

According to the data of the victimization prevalence, the study concludes that people with DID are at risk and they live an average of six different victimization situations during their lives.

Regarding the place where these situations happened, there are three main spaces: in the street –mostly for adults- and at home or school when children. The research highlights that victimization situations on children are not usually detected or protected and, moreover, unlike other collectives that are at risk, people with DID are exposed to victimization during all their life, not only when they are kids.
From the five different kinds of victimization that were defined, the one that happens the most –nine out of ten people with DID suffer from it- is victimization among equals or common offence, such as psychological victimization (64%), thefts (48%), physical aggression (40%).

Victimization from the carers or family members is not that common but it is important: six out of ten people with DID say they experienced episodes of physical and/or psychological violence.

Also, six out of ten people with DID say they were exposed to violent situations at home or the community, a 25% in their families (violence between partners) and a 55% within the community.

The figures of victimization are similar for both sexes, except for the online and sexual victimization, which affect to women mostly. Five out of ten women and two out of ten men have suffered from some sexual victimization: touching (24.5% women 7% men). And regarding online victimization, two out of ten interviewed people have suffered online grooming (sexual harassment). 
The main figures to whom this collective tells all these victimizations are in the socio-educational field.
Used methodology

The study was carried out from the point of view of the development of a prestigious and distinguished expert of this field: Finkelhor. His victimization survey was used, GReVIA previously used it with youngsters from different collectives, and in this case, they created an adapted version for the people with DID which includes 28 specific situations of victimization. 

Work proposal

The qualitative research phase on victimization faced by the people with intellectual and development disabilities already started. 
The objective of this stage is to understand better the obtained quantitative data, from the experiences of these people with intellectual and development disabilities. They created work grups with people who are involved –direct or indirectly- such as representatives from involved administrations, professionals from the sector of intellectual disability, people with intellectual and development disabilities, and their families.

During October, the group has focused on working on the victimization situations in schools, and in November they will focus on sexual victimization. In December there will be an evaluation and the topics for next year (2017) will be chosen. At the same time the new action proposal to improve and reduce and prevent the prevalence figures will be published.