Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse

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    TAGS:  Disability, gender, poverty, sexual abuse, triple jeopardy, violence, women

    Women and girls with disability have a dramatically increased risk of sexual abuse and violence.

    Illustration: gender based violenceThe facts are sobering: Women with a disability are two to three times more likely to be physically or sexually abused than women without a disability.[1] Women with disability are also most vulnerable to this abuse in their own homes[2] and women with an intellectual disability are especially at risk. [3]

    Did you also know that in some countries up to 70 percent of women[4] or girls will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

    And research has also found that both poverty and disability can increase the likelihood of abuse even more.

    These women and girls are triply vulnerable: being female, poor and living with a disability. Yet when given a voice, they speak of finding the courage and strength to overcome the abuse they've endured.

    Weaving a new story: ATENI

    "Because of my disability, this is why this man had access to me", Ateni explains, as she recalls the moment when a stranger sexually abused her. Having been deaf and not able to talk since she was nine years of age, her story shows how this strong young woman overcame her darkest moment and today, runs a weaving business.

    Find out how Ateni's story changed and watch it here:




    Violence against women and girls with disability takes many forms, and has many consequences.[5] Abuses include physical, physiological, sexual or financial violence, neglect, social isolation entrapment, degradation, detention as well as denial of health care including medication and forced sterilization.[6]

    Magnifying the effects of abuse are additional barriers to justice. For example, if a woman or girl with disability does seek help or redress, it is likely they will face discrimination as a result of negative social-stereo types.

    Violence and sexual abuse against women and girls can also be a cause of disability. For example, in the Kup region of Papua New Guinea, it has been reported that rape against young girls has caused serious injury and disability.[7]

    Like all people, women and girls with disability have a right to live free from violence and fear. And we have a responsibility to promote their rights and to ensure that women and girls with disability can be safe from abuse and violence in family and community life.

    One way you can do this right now, is to raise awareness about this issue by sharing Ateni's video with your friends, family and network!




    Sources:
    1United Kingdom Department for International Development (2000) Disability, Poverty and Development at http://www.handicap-international.fr/bibliographie-handicap/4PolitiqueHandicap/hand_pauvrete/DFID_disability.pdf
    2Stephanie Ortoleva and Hope Lewis (August 2012) "Forgotten Sisters - A Report on Violence Against Women with Disabilities: An Overview of its Nature, Scope, Causes and Consequences" Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 104-2012.
    3United Nations Population Fund (2013) A Deeper Silence and Pacific Sisters with Disabilities, 18.
    4World Health Organization, Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women, http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85239/1/9789241564625_eng.pdf - http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
    5Ortoleva, Stephanie and Lewis, Hope, Forgotten Sisters - A Report on Violence Against Women with Disabilities: An Overview of its Nature, Scope, Causes and Consequences (August 21, 2012). Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 104-2012.
    6United Nations Population Fund (2013) A Deeper Silence
    7Ibid





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