In a recent study published in The Lancet and funded by WHO, the World Health Organization, it was discovered that children identified as disabled are nearly 4 times more likely to experience childhood violence than their typical peers. The methodology for the research was to examine all the previous research on the subject over a 20 year period and then determine for those studies the strength of the research methodology. Based on this, 17 studies were chosen from a pool of 10,663 possibilities. The results of those 17 studies were then pooled and analyzed to reach its conclusions.
Findings: According to the study, violence is a major problem for all children with disabilities. The highest levels of exposure to violence was among emotionally disturbed children, while the lowest rates were seen among children whose disabilities were labeled as non-specific.
The authors note that their study has some weaknesses, stating
However, the continued scarcity of robust evidence, due to a lack of well designed research studies, poor standards of measurement of disability and violence, and insufficient assessment of whether violence precedes the development of disability, leaves gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed.