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Global Health
August 15, 2012

Disabled Children at Risk

JAMA. 2012;308(7):662. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9974

Children who have disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than their peers who are not disabled, according to a study by researchers from the United Kingdom and Sweden (Jones L et al. Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736[12]60692-8 [published online July 12, 2012]).

The investigators carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis on 16 studies reported from January 1, 1990, to August 17, 2010. Compared with nondisabled children, results showed the odds are 3.7 times greater that children with disabilities will be subjected to any type of violence, 3.6 times greater that they will undergo physical violence, and 2.9 times greater that they will be victims of sexual violence. Children with mental or intellectual disabilities seem to be the most vulnerable, with 4.6 times greater odds of sexual violence.