Prevalence of violence and abuse of people with disability in Australia
Facts on Violence and Disability in Australia
It is known from previous analyses in Australia that adults with disability are two to three times as likely to experience all forms of violence (eg. physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, intimate partner violence), compared to the general population.
Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey, the only Australian population-based survey of violence and abuse which includes information on disability, we release our new analyses on the prevalence of violence and abuse among people with disability. These analyses are available in a series of fact sheets that detail experiences of violence against all Australians with disability, as well as young people’s experiences of violence, and differences in how men and women (18 to 64 years) experience violence, based on recent experiences and throughout their lives.
People with disability in Australia also experience violence far more often. For example, they are twice as likely to experience physical violence in the last 12 months; and are two and half times more likely to experience violence from an intimate partner, compared to people without disability.
We analyse different types of violence and abuse and where violence happens. The results demonstrate that certain types of violence are particularly pronounced among women and among young Australians. For example, women with disability experience high levels of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. They are twice as likely than women without disability to experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Women with disability are more likely to experience intimate partner violence (36%), compared to 21% of women without disability, 15% of men with disability and 7% of men without disability.
We also examine how violence can vary by different types of impairments showing that people with cognitive and psychological disability have the highest levels of all types of violence.
The following Fact Sheets on Disability and Violence are available:
- Violence against people with disability in Australia
- Violence against young people with disability in Australia
- Violence against people with disability by impairment
- Intimate partner violence and disability in Australia
It is vital that evidence-informed approaches to preventing violence against people with disability are developed; that limitations of current data are known and that there is a clearly identified way forward to vastly improve the situation for Australians with disability.
Disability and Violence Data Compendium
In addition, we provide the first Australian report on data sources on violence and disability for future research and policy. The compendium includes existing administrative and survey data sources in Australia with a summary of how each could be used, and recommendations for improvements including potential linkages that could be used to provide more robust estimates of violence and abuse for future research/analysis.
Download the Disability and Violence Data Compendium on the right hand side.
There is a clear gap in the literature about the prevalence of violence and abuse and the settings in which it occurs. This information is critical for monitoring over time. It is also important to identify better ways to capture this information in other datasets.
The project was funded by the Melbourne Disability Institute,
The University of Melbourne.