The Abuse of Children With Disabilities: Sadly, This Is Not News

Children with disabilities are at much higher risk for experiencing violence than kids without disabilities, says a new report  from the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO). Kids with disabilities are 3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence and 2.9 time more likely to be the victims of sexual violence. Those with mental illness or cognitive impairment are most at risk, noted the report, just published in medical journal The Lancet.

The review examined 17 studies, and covered date on 18,374 children in Finland, France, Israel, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This may be making headlines but sadly, this is NOT news.

Google around and you’ll find this damning report Violence Against Disabled Children from UNICEF, back in 2005. Or the 2009 study from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, which found that children with disabilities are abused at twice the rate of those without disabilities. Google around and you’ll find entire sites devoted to helping experts handle cases of abuse of kids with disabilities.

The UNICEF report noted that kids with disabilities were at increased risk for violence because of “stigma, negative traditional beliefs and ignorance.” Kids with disabilities, it noted, are often seen as easy victims.

Not. News.

The WHO is recommending that the same measures used to protect non-disabled kids, including home visits from nurses for those at highest risk and training to improve parenting skills, be implemented for children with disabilities. That makes good sense. But until countries—including our own—make it a priority to protect its most vulnerable citizens, we’re going to keep seeing reports like these in years to come.


Photo of little girl covering her mouth via ShutterStock

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  1. by Latest Dish | Celebrity Baby Scoop

    On July 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    [...] The Abuse of Children With Disabilities: Sadly, This Is Not News - Parents [...]

  2. by Celebrity Gazette - Latest Dish

    On July 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    [...] The Abuse of Children With Disabilities: Sadly, This Is Not News - Parents [...]

  3. by Janice Schacter

    On August 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Children with disabilities are not perceived as victims. The Judge did nothing when my daughter’s father hid her hearing aids. She did nothing when he called her a c***, pushed her head against the wall, threatened to break her cheekbone and whip her with her computer chord. She did nothing when he said I was going to die and my daughter taped it. She actually, modified the criminal order of protection, ex-parte, no notice or motion, over my daughter’s objection when he accepted an ACD for endangering her welfare. He maintained the decision making he was granted to improve his relationship. He refuses to pay her medical and dental care. He refuses to pay for her hearing aids We need to educated and train judges. Withholding and not paying for hearing aids is abuse. The Judge told my daughter she saw worst in Harlem….