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In addition to the common risk factors for all children and adolescents, those with disabilities are vulnerable because they:

  • May have developmental or communication difficulties that make disclosure of abuse difficult or impossible

  • May lack correct information or education about abuse prevention, sexuality, and self-protection strategies (e.g., the right to say "no")

  • May not understand the difference between a hygienic touch, an affectionate touch, or an abusive touch

  • May have physical disabilities that prevent them from defending themselves or getting away

  • May depend on others to meet even their most basic needs (bathing, toileting, feeding) which creates an extreme imbalance of power

  • May have a desire to please or may have cognitive difficulties that make them overly trusting and easier to trick

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Children/Adolescents with Disabilities: Overview  Children/Adolescents with Disabilities: Myths  Children/Adolescents with Disabilities: Risk Factors  Children/Adolescents with Disabilities: Responding to Abuse  Children/Adolescents with Disabilities: Additional Resources 

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