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Perceptions of the Victimization of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2013.32015, PP. 114-123

Keywords: Intellectual Disability, Victimization, Vulnerability, Perception

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Abstract:

Perceptions of the victimization of persons with intellectual disabilities were explored from the perspectives of adults with mild intellectual disabilities as well as service providers and supervisors who work with this population. Interviews were obtained for 10 adults with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, those who work with persons with intellectual disabilities were interviewed: 10 service providers and five supervisors (n = 25). Results indicate that perceptions of victimization were influenced by factors such as victimizer motivations, proximity to victimization, and situational pre-dictability. Offenses that cause harm are recognized as victimization by most, but non-harmful offenses are not always perceived as victimization, especially when respondents were involved in the offense. The implications of these findings related to recognition, reporting, and prevention of victimization are discussed.

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