Sexual violence victimization against men with disabilities

Am J Prev Med. 2011 Nov;41(5):494-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.07.014.


Background: Prior research has shown a high prevalence of sexual violence against women with disabilities. However, no previous population-based studies have examined such victimization against men with disabilities.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to document the prevalence of lifetime and past-year sexual violence victimization among a representative sample of men with disabilities in Massachusetts and to compare its prevalence among men with disabilities to that of men without disabilities and women with and without disabilities.

Methods: Data from the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2005-2009 were analyzed in 2010 using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Among 25,756 survey respondents, approximately 21.1% of Massachusetts men and 21.0% of women reported a disability. The prevalence of lifetime sexual violence victimization was 13.9% (95% CI=10.7%, 17.1%) among men with disabilities; 3.7% (95% CI=2.9%, 4.5%) among men without disabilities; 26.6% (95% CI=23.4%, 29.7%) among women with disabilities; and 12.4% (95% CI=11.2%, 13.6%) among women without disabilities. Similarly, men with disabilities were more likely than men without disabilities to report lifetime completed and attempted rape and past-year sexual violence victimization. Multivariate analyses controlling for sociodemographic characteristics indicated that men with disabilities were more than four times more likely to report lifetime and past-year victimization than men without disabilities.

Conclusions: Men with disabilities are at a heightened risk for lifetime and current sexual violence victimization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult