Tom Shakespeare in the Guardian highlights the disgraceful abuse of the disabled in today’s society:
Later, I asked several colleagues who work as advocates and supporters of people with intellectual disability about what they knew. They confirmed immediately that harassment was a constant feature of the lives of every person they worked with. They told me about conferences and gatherings where people had shared horrific experiences, which to them were commonplace. People being sellotaped to trees while people laughed, people being urinated on, people who had dog faeces put through their letter boxes, people who were beaten up. Faced with this constant exposure to the risk of abuse and violence, people with intellectual disability remained stoical and uncomplaining. Sometimes they were unable to make a complaint. Often, they were disbelieved, or were not taken seriously as witnesses. In most cases, the police were unwilling or unable to take effective action.
Is this a new phenomenon? Sadly not. For some, people with disabilities, whether mental ones, physical ones or a combination of both, have long been an easy target. That is not to say that everyone with disabilities is weak and incapable of defending themselves. That would be a gross generalisation and patronising. Millions of Britons have some sort of disability, ranging from mild to severe ones.
But some of those with very visible and/or severe disabilities, particularly learning ones, are at great risk. Bullies like to target those they believe are the weakest, and they know the victim could be less likely to come forward for support, whether because they lack a support network or don’t know how to access it.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Disability