Som – Fundació has participated in a national study to identify why people with intellectual disabilities do not report when they are victims of a crime. They have done so in collaboration with the Liber Association, which has addressed the issue of underreporting crimes committed against people with intellectual disabilities. This is a phenomenon that affects numerous victims of crimes who, for various reasons, choose not to report to the relevant authorities. As a result of this research, they have presented a national study and two action protocols, the latter developed in collaboration with the Legal Clinic of the Rey Juan Carlos University
The context of underreporting
Underreporting is a phenomenon that occurs when a person or a group of people are victims of a crime but, for various reasons, do not report it to the relevant authorities. It is a complex phenomenon, influenced by various factors and varying according to the type of crime, circumstances, and the socio-economic context of each individual.
Regarding the profile of the victims, the majority are women, individuals living independently (with or without support), and with few support needs or specific support needs. It is also highly relevant that 1 in 3 victims of unreported crimes have other disabilities, in addition to intellectual or developmental disabilities. As for the types of crimes, those related to abuse of power, especially economic abuses and crimes related to gender-based violence, including sexual violence, are the most frequently reported, although there is also evidence of fraud or theft.
Underreporting poses a challenge
Underreporting not only has a direct impact on victims but also contributes to perpetrators’ impunity, lack of prevention of future crimes, and the erosion of trust in authorities.
In this context, Liber has developed two protocols, one aimed at professionals and another for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These protocols provide essential information about crimes, the reporting process, and offer guidelines to support victims, with the aim of preventing underreporting and promoting justice.
Liber urges society to become aware of the importance of reporting crimes and to use available resources to combat impunity. The complete study, executive summaries, one of which is in easy-to-read format, and the protocols are available for consultation on their website.