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Criminal Victimization of the Deaf

NCJ Number
Lauren M. Barrow
Date Published
210 pages
This study of the nature and extent of the criminal victimization of deaf people identifies who is at greatest risk and describes the most effective method for responding to their victimization.
The study found no evidence the deaf individuals are generally victimized more often than the general population. Simple assault was the most reported crime for both mainstream college students and college students who were deaf. The victims were often in altercations without weapons, having a high risk for some type of minor injury. For both hearing and deaf students, African-Americans and males were more often targeted for aggravated assaults. Females were more likely to be victimized with sexual crimes. Deaf students reported higher rates of victimization for every violent crime examined. This study focused on sexual offenses and violent offenses within intimate relationships. Regarding sexual offenses, more deaf boys than deaf girls experienced victimization. Regarding violent offenses within an intimate relationship, there was no significant difference between the deaf and hearing students. Whereas, among hearing students, females were more likely to be victimized in an intimate relationship; among deaf students, males were more likely to be victimized. Hypotheses explored regarding the effectiveness of law enforcement in responding to deaf crime victims and victim satisfaction with criminal justice system services, the research findings were inconclusive. The recommendations for the criminal justice system are derived from an analysis of how law enforcement can best serve deaf victims and the benefits of tailoring crime prevention programs to deaf people. In order to determine the extent of criminal victimization of deaf individuals, this study surveyed deaf college students regarding their exposure to Part I offenses of the Uniform Crime Report, excluding homicide. Data on mainstream college students were obtained from the National Crime Victimization Survey. 28 tables, approximately 170 references, and a subject index