A recent study has revealed a staggeringly high number of children with Asperger’s and autism are falling victim to bullying, robbery and abuse from people they trust.
This new form of victimisation has been nicknamed ‘mate crime’.
An autism charity conducted the survey, finding that ‘mate crime’ is a form of hate crime targeting people with disabilities, in which a person is abused or manipulated by who they believe is a friend.
The survey uncovered many stories of bullying and abuse, including one vulnerable person who was befriended and manipulated into giving the ‘friend’ their bank card details, leaving them in unimaginable debt.
The study was based on a survey published online. Nearly 150 people affected by Asperger’s syndrome or autism, either directly or through somebody they know, participated in the survey by posting their stories. One parent said how hard it can be, trying to explain to their child that they are being manipulated.