One-third of mentally ill are victims of violence

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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:03 am | Updated: 4:54 pm, Tue Aug 19, 2014.

Adults with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than to commit violence themselves in a six month period, according to a new survey.

Researchers from North Carolina State University, Duke University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of California, Davis, surveyed 4,480 mentally ill adults about acts of violence in the previous six months. They found 30 percent of participants reported being the victims of violence, and 23.9 percent reported committing an act of violence. But 63.5 percent of the committed violence occurred in a residential setting, while only 2.6 percent occurring in public. They also found those who were victims of violence were 11 times more likely to commit it.

“This highlights the need for more robust public health interventions that are focused on violence,” lead author Dr. Sarah Desmarais, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State, was quoted as saying. “It shouldn’t just be about preventing adults with mental illness from committing violent acts, it should also be about protecting those at risk of being victimized.”

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