According to Statistics Canada, Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence as other able-bodied Canadians. And the data revealed that women experience the higher rate of violence in many areas.
The rate of women victimization is 65 in 1000 people whereas disabled women percentage is almost double (137 in 1000). Data shows that disabled people are easy target for abusers.
Factors such as homelessness, sexual abuse and child abuse are the likelihood of being victimized, disabled people.
Canada’s National Statistical Agency’s Data on Disable Women Violence
Adam Cotter told The Canadian Press in an interview that being disabled is enough to raise risk of harm for that person. He said
“The experience of having a disability itself (is) contributing to those higher rates”.
Though the violence rate for disabled Canadians is almost double than able-bodied people but this number does not last here, it elevates to four times with the people suffering from intellectual disabilities. Report reveals that every 4 in 10 self-reported incidents of robbery, physical or sexual abuse involve people with intellectual disabilities. And this number was again higher for women comprising 45 percent of victims.
Cotter said that misconception about sexuality of disabled women can be the main reason for high rate of sexual abuse.
“These range from the perception that women with disabilities are hyper-sexual and sexually deviant, to a tendency to treat women with disabilities as children, or a view that women with disabilities are entirely non-sexual,” Cotter wrote in the report
23-year-old Sarah Jama told her experience to the star as a disabled victim. She said, she was waiting for bus when she was approached by 2 men who grabbed her hand and asked her personal questions and when she resisted he looked at her with disbelief and told “well, it’s not like you’re going to get some anywhere else.” And she told that she overcomes with less overt forms of violence everyday.
“People often make decisions about how they interact with me because of how I look,” she said. “I’m seen as vulnerable, and there’s this idea that people with disabilities are incompetent and can’t make their own decisions.”
StatsCan data shows that where most of the people found their home safe place or refuge from violence, it is exactly different for disabled people. Data suggest that 1 of 3 victimization incident with disabled people occur in their homes. And it is double than the general population.
Cotter also lit limelight to the disabled women who suffer domestic violence and their number is again double than the able-bodied women. And the issues reported were most likely restriction in access to mobility aids. But this violence not only confines to women, incident reported by old people are almost four times.
Bonnie Brayton, executive director of the Disabled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada, said these numbers are alarming and there is serious need to look over them and disabled women should not be overlooked as being done from many years. She also adds that the figures in report depict that risks of problem are alarming.
“Our government recognizes that people with disabilities are more at risk of experiencing violence,” she said. “These numbers are alarming and we are working to rectify the situation.”
Disability Credit Canada View
It is time for Canada to understand the criticality of problem, because the number given in the report does not include the crimes that went unreported i.e. the number is still higher. Although there are many services like Disability Tax credit, CPP Disability Benefits and Child Disability Tax credit been provided by the governing institutions to the people but there is still more to be done for victimized disabled people.