Abstract and Keywords
Abuse of people with disabilities is a substantial problem because of the particular physical, emotional, and sexual vulnerabilities that people with disabilities have, in addition to being vulnerable to the abuse associated with their disabilities. The problem of abuse for the disabled population is complicated by a lack of knowledge in health-care professionals, lack of awareness in people with disabilities themselves, and limited resources for, and barriers to, intervention. In this chapter I will examine the nature of the problem, the types of abuse related to disability, and the vulnerability factors that increase risk. We will look at how to assess for abuse in people with disabilities, the consequences often faced in reporting abuse, and the best practices for assessment. I will also review the limited research on different cognitive, behavioral, or psycho-educational intervention approaches. Given the challenges to successfully evaluating and addressing this problem, mental health providers must have a thorough understanding of this issue.
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