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Canadians with disabilities twice as likely to be victims of violence: StatsCan

Statistics Canada says Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence.
Statistics Canada says Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence. Getty Images

New data from Statistics Canada says Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violent victimization as the able-bodied population.

The figures, drawn heavily from the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, found rates were similar among both disabled men and women.

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Statistics Canada says nearly four in 10 disabled people 15 years of age or older not living in institutions report experiencing robbery, sexual or physical assault, a figure they say is about double what’s found in the general population.

The numbers show the issue was most acute among people with cognitive or mental health disabilities, who reported victimization rates four times higher than the general population.

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The data suggests disabled women were considerably more likely to report sexual assault than non-disabled women, and say one in three of the violent crimes disabled people experience take place in their own homes.

Members of the disabled community say the numbers likely understate the severity of the problem and say society does not do enough to protect a vulnerable population.