The 26 studies from developed countries have all come to the same conclusion…mentally ill people are at a higher risk of becoming a victim of violence. The general population is more concerned about their risks when living near or working with the mentally ill. Though mentally ill can be perpetrators of violence and precautions should be taken, they are less of a threat than previously believed.
It is estimated that one in four mentally ill people will become the victim of violence, sadly some of the incidents will be at the hands of their caregivers. Some of the factors that contribute to the violence include the following:
- Poor relationship skills
- Substance abuse
- Low income
- Unavailability of treatment
- Medication non-compliance
Anyone with any type of disability (mental, developmental, or physical) is at an increased risk of violence. Steps should be taken to teach group home residents how to avoid being a victim and if they do become a victim, how to get help for themselves. Socializing skills should be taught. Behaviors and dress that “advertise” their disability and vulnerability should be avoided. Proper supervision of disabled people who live in group homes will reduce their risk of becoming a victim of violence.