Sexual violence against people with disabilities is widespread and linked to negative public health and social outcomes. The objectives of the present study were to describe and analyze and thus provide an overview of the current state of affairs concerning sexual assault among people with disabilities, including reported prevalence and trends, over the period from 2002 through 2007 in Taiwan. The present study analyzed nationwide data from the 2002-2007 "Sexual assaults report system" derived primarily from the Council of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assaults Prevention, Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan. The data took into account the number of cases and disability type in persons reported to have been sexually assaulted, and to analyze the reported rate of sexual assaults among this section of the population in Taiwan. In addition, the study used a linear estimation model to examine with time (2002-2007) in the rate of reported sexual assaults. The rate of increase of sexual assault reported among people with disabilities was 2.7 times that of the general population (469-173%) during the period of 2002-2007. Government statistics showed that intellectually disabled persons accounted for the largest proportion (>50%) of reported sexual assault cases among the disabled, followed by persons with chronic psychosis, who accounted for one-third of the reported sexual assault cases among the disabled population. The reported rate of sexual assault increased from 0.9 to 2.42 per ten-thousand people in the general population and from 1.24 to 5.74 per ten-thousand disabled persons. Intellectual disability, chronic psychosis and voice and speech impairments were consistently associated with a higher prevalence of sexual assault than the general population. The line of best fit estimated from a linear model showed a significant change over the study period in the reported number of sexual assault cases among disabled people. The results highlight the requirement for further study to explore the needs of people with disabilities with regards to education and other strategies to prevent sexual assault, particularly in the most vulnerable group-those with intellectual disability.
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