Men With Disabilities More Likely to Be Sexually Abused

Men with disability are four times more likely to report lifetime or past-year sexual victimization

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Men with disabilities have an increased risk of lifetime and past-year sexual violence victimization, compared to men without disabilities, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Monika Mitra, Ph.D., from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Shrewsbury, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of lifetime and past-year sexual violence victimization in a representative sample of men with disabilities in Massachusetts. The prevalence of sexual violence was compared to that of men without disabilities, and women with and without disabilities. Data were collected and analyzed from 25,756 survey respondents from the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, from 2005 to 2009. Of the respondents, 21.1 percent of men and 21.0 percent of women reported a disability.

The investigators found that the prevalence of lifetime sexual violence victimization was 13.9 and 3.7 percent for men with and without disabilities, respectively, and was 26.6 and 12.4 percent for women with and without disabilities, respectively. Men with disabilities were more likely to report past-year sexual violence victimization and lifetime completed and attempted rape than men without disabilities. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, men with disabilities were more than four times more likely to report lifetime and past-year victimization than men without disabilities.

"Men with disabilities are at a heightened risk for lifetime and current sexual violence victimization," the authors write.

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