Mentally Ill More Often Victims of Violence Than Perpetrators

To follow up on last week’s post about gun violence at the hands of the mentally ill, I’d like to draw your attention to a recent meta-analysis published in The Lancet. The analysis, which compiled 21 studies between 1990 – 2010, found that the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence than the rest of the population. The report finds that one in four people with mental illness experiences violence of some type in a given year, as reported by the BBC.

E. Fuller Torrey, prominent researcher and writer on mental illness, had this to say: “It is a sad commentary on the nature of public interest that the estimated 1% of individuals with untreated severe mental illness who commit acts of violence grabs so many headlines while the 25% of those who fall victim to violence generate so few. It is equally difficult to fathom how critics can find involuntary treatment more unacceptable for those in need of treatment than the high chance they’ll become victims of violence.”

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