San Diego, CA, October 11, 2011 Previous studies have documented that women with disabilities are more likely to be sexually assaulted than women without disabilities. A new study published online today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the first population-based investigation to examine sexual violence victimization against men with disabilities. Researchers report that men with disabilities are more than four times more likely to be victimized by sexual assaults compared to men without disabilities.
"Men with disabilities are at a heightened risk for lifetime and current sexual violence victimization," according to lead investigator Monika Mitra, PhD, Research Scientist, Center for Health Policy and Research, and Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School. "The most notable finding is that the prevalence of lifetime sexual violence, completed rape, and attempted rape against men with disabilities was comparable to that against women without disabilities, and past-year rates for men with disabilities exceeded those for women without disabilities."
Dr. Mitra adds that "this study also broadened research of such victimization against men with disabilities beyond the intimate partner context to acquaintances and strangers, as well as family members, intimate partners, and dates. This is particularly relevant for people with disabilities whom earlier studies have suggested are especially likely to experience abuse from caregivers and personal care and other attendants, in addition to intimate partners."
Investigators from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health used data from close to 22,000 respondents collected as part of the 2005� Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (MA-BRFSS), which is an annual health survey of noninstitutionalized adults conducted in c
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