At risk, yet dismissed
'At risk, yet dismissed: the criminal victimisation of people with mental health problems'(1 MB), is a new research report which paints a stark picture of the risks of victimisation to people with mental health problems in the community, and the barriers they face in getting the support and help they need.
The research found that people with mental health problems are up to 10 times more likely to be a victim of crime than the general population, that they are more likely to be victims of repeat victimisation and that they are more affected by crime than those without mental health problems.
In interviews, many people with mental health problems report not being believed or even blamed when they attempted to report a crime to the police or seek help from other services. Many were reluctant to report crimes to police or other professionals, saying they feared their illness would be used to discredit them.
“You’re a mental health patient. Your word is not believed. They’d much rather think that you were paranoid than that you had a legitimate complaint.” [Male victim of assault]
At risk, yet dismissed contains specific recommendations for police and the criminal justice system, the health service, housing and other agencies and charities and calls for an urgent national debate across Government on how to respond to the needs of victims of crime with mental health problems.
Read the full report(1 MB)
Read the summary report (823 KB)
The three year study was funded by The Big Lottery Fund and interviewed a random sample of 361 people with severe mental illness and conducted in-depth interviews with a further 81 people with mental health problems who had been victims of crime in the last three years
The research was a partnership of Victim Support, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, Mind, St George’s, University of London, and Kingston University in collaboration with UCL (University College London).