Approximately 20% of the U.S. population has a disability and represent the largest minority (and most openly oppressed).
68% of children with disabilities are victims of sexual violence and 32% victims of physical violence.
Indications reveal that 90% of people with developmental disabilities will be victimized by sexual violence at some point during their life, 40% experience 10 or more incidents.
15,000-19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year.
Twice the rate of women with disabilities (compared to non-disabled women), 67% experienced lifetime physical violence and 53% experience lifetime sexual violence.
The above noted statistics are considered to be just the “tip of the iceberg” given that victimization is severely underreported.
People with mental illness are 2 1/2 times more likely to be “attacked, raped or mugged” than the general population.
Women with mental illness who are homeless are raped so frequently that according to several reports; it is seen as “normal.”
People with mental health disorders are depicted as violent so regularly by the media that images of “the hockey mask” has become “a symbol of dangerousness and insanity” with no basis in reality. The media, novels, movies and primetime shows (which often portray “mental cases” committing violent crimes), increase and promote the stigma which is attached to mental illness yet has no bearing in reality. For example “On television, 45 percent of all characters are violent, compared with 72% of the characters with mental illness-including women…mental illness is the only label on TV that renders women as violent as men.” (According to George Gerbner, Ph.D.)
The truth is that suicide outnumbers homicide in the U.S. as the 11th leading cause of death. Each year over 30,000 people in the U.S. commit suicide, more than 90% of them are believed to have a diagnosable mental disorder.
Check your assumptions…We are the dangerous ones!