Office for Victims of Crime
State-level Replication Guide
 September 2012 Text size: decrease font size increase font size   Send e-mail icon

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Reasons To Act

Challenges Victims Face

Identifying and understanding the unique challenges persons with disabilities face as victims of crime are critical to accurate recognition of, reporting of, and response to abuse.

These challenges may include the following:

  • Inability to adequately explain abuse due to the disability.
  • Intense feeling of fear, shame, or guilt.
  • Dependence on the caregiver/offender.
  • Beliefs that they will be blamed.
  • Beliefs that the abuser will retaliate or actual threats of further harm.
  • Lack of awareness of what constitutes abuse or neglect.
  • Lack of knowledge of the protocol for reporting abuse.
  • Fear of being left without a home or family.
  • Fear of losing custody of children.
  • Fear of not being believed.
  • Fear that freedom/independence will be lost if abuse is reported.