Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vulnerable Populations – Violence Against Others

FLASHBACK SERIES: Blog posts written during my medical school days at Pacific Northwest University - College of Osteopathic Medicine

by Kim Ha Wadsworth, OMS I

Interpersonal violence occurs when an individual inflicts violence and coercive behavior—including economic control, isolation, and physical, emotional or sexual threats / actions—to gain power and control over another person. National statistics indicate that trauma accounts for 25% of health care visits by homeless patients, with 50% of this population having mental illness.1 Likewise, people with developmental disabilities have a lifetime sexual assault victim rate of 68% - 83% and a 4 - 10X increased risk of becoming a crime victim.2 In addition to abuse by family members or intimate partners, people with disabilities are at risk for abuse by attendants or health care providers. It is important to recognize that the survivor of the abuse is never to blame.