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Safety, crime, and discrimination

Feelings of safety

Regardless of disabled status, almost all adults said they felt safe in their homes alone during the day or after dark. Similarly, almost all adults said they felt safe in their neighbourhood during the day.

It is when they’re out alone in their neighbourhood after dark that people do not always feel safe. Disabled adults were less likely to go out after dark alone and were less likely to feel safe when they did so (78 percent compared with 86 percent of non-disabled adults).

Among both disabled and non-disabled adults, women were less likely than men to feel safe or very safe when alone after dark, particularly when out in their neighbourhood. Sixty-seven percent of disabled women felt safe or very safe when out alone in the neighbourhood after dark, compared with 78 percent of non-disabled women. 

Experience of crime

Twelve percent of disabled adults said they had been the victim of crime in the past 12 months, including 4 percent who had experienced violent crime. These figures were slightly higher than those for non-disabled adults (10 percent and 2 percent, respectively).

Within the disabled population, the experience of crime victimisation by men and women was similar. However, older adults were less likely to have experienced crime than younger adults – just 6 percent of those aged 65+ were victims of any crime in the previous 12 months.

Bar graph showing percent of adults who were victims of crime in last 12 months by disability status in 2013. Victim of any crime and victim of violent crim on x axis, and percent on y axis. Twelve percent of disabled adults said they had been the victim of crime in the past 12 months, including 4 percent who had experienced violent crime. These figures were slightly higher than those for non-disabled adults - 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Experience of discrimination

Most disabled adults (86 percent) said they did not experience discrimination in the previous 12 months. However:

  • 2 percent experienced discrimination once during that period
  • 4 percent experienced discrimination two or three times
  • 8 percent experienced three or more instances of discrimination.

Disabled adults were more likely to say they experienced discrimination in the past 12 months (14 percent compared with 9 percent of non-disabled) including 8 percent who said they experienced discrimination three or more times (compared with 4 percent for non-disabled).

The difference in experience of discrimination between disabled and non-disabled adults was driven by the experience of adults under 65 years. Twenty percent of disabled adults under 65 years old experienced discrimination in the past 12 months, compared with 10 percent for non-disabled in this age group. There was no evidence of any difference between disabled and non-disabled adults aged 65+ in the experience of discrimination.

Bar graph showing frequency of discrimination experienced by adults in last 12 months by disability status in 2013. Frequency on x axis and percent of adults on y axis. Disabled adults were more likely to say they experienced discrimination in the past 12 months - 14 percent compared with 9 percent of non-disabled - including 8 percent who said they experienced discrimination three or more times - compared with 4 percent for non-disabled.

Within the disabled population, there was no evidence of difference between men and women in the experience of discrimination. However, older disabled adults aged 65+ were less likely to experience discrimination (4 percent) than younger disabled adults under 65 years (20 percent). 
 

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