Violence, Neglect and Abuse Issues
It is well documented that people with disability, especially girls and women with disability, are over-represented as victims of crime. In particular, people with disability are more likely to be victims of violence, fraud and sexual assault.
They are also more likely to experience multiple episodes of all forms of abuse and neglect since their potential perpetrators perceive there is little likelihood of police intervention or other sanctions if caught.
PWDA has conducted a number of projects in this area and written several reports that address this situation:
- SADA project: Prevention and response to sexual assault in disability and aged care residential settings www.sadaproject.org.au
- Rights Denied: Towards a national policy agenda about abuse, neglect & exploitation of persons with cognitive impairment. Word 105MB | PDF 1MB
- Accommodating Violence: Click here for more information regarding the experience of domestic violence and people with disability living in licensed boarding houses.
- PWD Advocacy and Grand Western Lodge: Click here to read the summary of a case study in which PWD worked to remove residents from a licensed boarding house where they were allegedly experiencing significant abuse and neglect.
In the News
- 13 March 2012: Paul Bibby - Serious issues at boarding house where six died: inquest – A news article on the inquest into the death of boarding house residents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
- 5 June 2011: Danny Hakim - A Disabled Boy’s Death, and a System in Disarray
O. D. Heck is one of nine large institutions in New York that house the people with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome and other conditions. These institutions spend two and a half times as much money, per resident, as the thousands of smaller group homes that care for far more of the 135,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities receiving services.
- 30 May 2011: Daphne Bramham - Evidence rules leave disabled Canadian girls open to sex abuse Canadian girls and women with disabilities are up to 10 times more likely to be sexually assaulted or exploited than other girls and women. Overwhelmingly, their attackers are the people they trust most.
- 4 April 2011: Dorothea Puente - Boarding House operator in Sacramento, USA convicted of killing residents This example highlights the vulnerability of people with disability living in private for-profit accommodation settings where reports of violence and abuse were not taken seriously by authorities.
Further reading and resources
- 2011: Advocacy for Inclusion June 2011 newsletter word 6.17MB - pdf 623kb
- 2011: Women, Disability and Violence: Strategies to Increase Physical and Programmatic Access to Victims’ Services for Women with Disabilities by Dr. Lisa McClain, Boise State University, Idaho - word 198kb - pdf 336kb
- 2011: Violence Against Women with Disabilities. The International Network of Women with Disabilities - word 123kb - pdf 92kb
- 2010: The Victorian Ombudsman Investigation: Assault of a Disability Services Client by Department of Human Services Staff - external website
- 2010: Violence against people with cognitive impairments. Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria - external website
- 2008: Building the Evidence Report. Women with Disabilities Victoria - external website
- 1988: Silent victims: A study of people with intellectual disabilities as victims of crime. Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria - external website
- Women, Disability and Violence: Strategies to Increase Physical and Programmatic Access to Victims' Services for Women with Disabilities - external website
- European Disability Forum: Violence Against Women- We want Further Action - external website