Background: The aim of the study was to quantify levels of violence and discrimination among people with disabilities and analyze the effects of gender and the type and degree of disability.
Methods: The study analyzed data on self-reported violence and discrimination from a Danish national survey of 18,019 citizens, of whom 4519 reported a physical disability and 1398 reported a mental disability.
Results: Individuals with disabilities reported significantly higher levels of violence than those without. Specifically, individuals reporting a mental disability reported higher levels of violence and discrimination. Significant gender differences were found with regard to type of violence: while men with disabilities were more likely to report physical violence, women with disabilities were more likely to report major sexual violence, humiliation and discrimination. Neither severity nor visibility of disability was found to be a significant factor for risk of violence.
Conclusions: This large-scale study lends support to existing research showing that people with disabilities are at greater risk of violence than people without disabilities. Further, the study found that people with mental disabilities were significantly more likely to report all types of violence and discrimination than those with physical disabilities.
The findings also show that gender is significant in explaining the type of violence experienced and the experience of discrimination.