Sexual Assault and Persons with Disabilities

  1. Overview
  2. Sexual Violence
  3. Sexual Assault and Persons with Disabilities

Risk Factors

Commonly cited risk factors for sexual victimization for persons with disabilities include:5


  • Type of disability
  • Gender
  • Negative public attitudes toward persons with disabilities that lead sex offenders to view them as easy targets and think it unlikely that their actions will result in a conviction
  • Social isolation
  • Communication barriers
  • Lack of accessible transportation
  • Reliance on others for care, assistance with personal needs and/or management of their affairs
  • Learned compliance of people with disabilities
  • Lack of knowledge about sexuality and/or healthy intimate relationships
  • Poverty
  • Lack of resources/knowledge of resources


For more information on the above topic, see B1. Sexual Victimization of Persons with Disabilities: Prevalence and Risk Factors in the WV S.A.F.E. Training and Collaboration Toolkit—Serving Sexual Violence Victims with Disabilities.


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