Acts of violence such as rape, harassment and physical aggression can have serious and lasting consequences that endanger survivors' lives. Such acts can include permanent impairment, death or a whole range of physical, psychosocial and mental health problems that negatively affect survivors' self-respect and quality of life and expose them to the risk of further abuse. These consequences can result in a vicious circle of violence and ill-treatment, as survivors may be rejected by their families, excluded and stigmatised by society, or even arrested, placed in detention and punished and sometimes even subjected to further violence because they sought protection, assistance or access to justice.
According to the World Bank and WHO, 15% of the worlds population has a disability and these individuals are frequently reported to be at increased risk of violence. Adults and children with disabilities are at a higher risk of violence than non-disabled adults and children, and those with mental illnesses could be particularly vulnerable.
It is important to raise awareness about violence, exploitation and abuse against people with disabilities to support the survivors, to prevent further acts of violence and to advocate for safety and justice. This is supported by article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This key list highlights resources to raise awareness about violence against people with disabilities, gender-based violence and violence against children disabilities. We welcome your suggestions: please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After 20 years of displacement and war in northern Uganda, this research report presents information about the situation of women who acquired their disabilities due to the war or who already had disabilities before the war. The report presents interviews from women with disabilities, their family members, international agencies and NGOs, and analyses their responses given the context that Uganda is a signatory to international treaties, such as the CRPD. The report concludes by making recommendations to the government of Uganda
This book deals with practical advice on health care for women with disabilities. It has been developed in partnership with health care professionals and disabled women in over 42 countries. It covers the key issues of disability in the community; accessible health care; mental health; sexual health; family planning; and child birth. The book is written in a practical and accessible style, suitable for anyone with an interest in disability, social development and women's health issues. In particular, the book offers a valuable insight into 'real-life' personal experiences of disabled women
"Abuse of women with disabilities is a significant societal problem of which practitioners, service providers, and other professionals must be aware, respond to, and work to alleviate. Practitioners in most settings will encounter client systems impacted by disability, and many of their clients may be victims of abuse. Primary objectives of this paper are (1) to summarize issues and problems relevant to abuse of women with disabilities (2) to describe some of the empowering, proactive attitudes and behaviours of victim-survivors and their support networks, and (3) to further emphasize the need for practitioners to give primacy to helping such clients empower themselves to (re)take and maintain charge of their lives"
Sexuality and Disability, Vol 28, No 3
This final short report summary encompasses the main findings of the Daphne III project “Access to Specialised Victim Support Services for Women with Disabilities who have experienced Violence.” The project aimed to assess the range of different experiences of violence against disabled women and their use of support structures. In addition specialised victim support services were interviewed about their experiences and capabilities in terms of counselling and accommodating disabled women. The project focused on three components: (1) Assessing the legal and policy framework (2) Generating extensive empirical data by surveying disabled or Deaf women (focus group discussions, in-depth-interviews) and service providers (online survey, interviews with staff members) and (3) Developing good practice examples and recommendations. For each component national reports and an associated comparative report was prepared, identifying the most prominent issues including the commonalities and differences between the four countries issues.
This report presents the findings of a situational assessment that explored the risk factors and vulnerabilities of women and men with disabilities to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and highlights the complexity of addressing SGBV, sexuality, and the stigma and discrimination that is part of the daily reality for persons with disabilities. Recommendations are provided for various stakeholder groups
SD/ RS 05
"This document reviews the findings, lessons learned, and promising practices in the provision of comprehensive SGBV services in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on the data generated by the network partners to identify core issues in the provision of quality, comprehensive care for survivors of SGBV. These findings are intended to serve as a resource for programmers and policymakers throughout the region, and contribute to the emerging evidence-base on such program strategies"
This interim report presents a research project which explores disabled women’s experiences of domestic violence and investigates existing service provision available to them. It is "based on two national surveys, one of domestic violence organisations and one of disabled people’s organisations. Specialist facilities and accessible services were in short supply in both sectors. One recurrent issue was lack of secure on-going funding, which held many organisations back from developing their services as fully and inclusively they might wish. The provision of appropriate training, and improved liaison between the two sectors, would help to provide a better service for disabled women experiencing abuse"
This paper presents information about violence against women with disabilities. It defines disability and gender-based violence, highlights why women with disabilities are targets of violence, and provides recommendations to stakeholders to ensure the rights of women with disabilities against violence. This paper is useful to anyone interested violence against women with disabilities
Discussion group on violence
4 October 2010
"This report is based upon Vera’s work with and observations of those collaborations from 2006 through 2010, as well as in-depth interviews with representatives from 10 of the groups and an extensive literature review on effective collaboration. It is designed for policy makers, practitioners, and first-responders interested in using collaboration to address violence against people with disabilities. It offers concrete recommendations for how to build effective collaboration between victim services and disability organizations, practical strategies for overcoming common obstacles, and steps to begin the collaboration process"
Note: Available in both pdf and word format
This report focuses upon prevalence and pervasiveness of violence against women and girls with disabilities. It "reviews available information on the forms, causes and consequences of violence against women when both gender and disability collide to exacerbate that violence; examines the impact of the multiple and intersecting dimensions of women’s lives and; their impact on violence against women with disabilities. The Report outlines the international and regional legal framework, highlighting relevant provisions and interpretations. Finally, the Report examines the extent to which States have met their due diligence obligations (setting forth a few country-specific case studies) highlights some best practices, discusses significant gaps in the research and makes recommendations for future action"
Paper series no 104-2012
This report documents the Making it Work Methodology and applies it to work on gender and disability inclusion. The authors identify and describe eleven good practices in ten countries which were developed by women to eliminate violence against women and girls with disabilities
"The present report is the second submitted by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, to the General Assembly, pursuant to resolution 65/187. The report provides an overview of the activities of the Special Rapporteur and discusses the issue of violence against women with disabilities"
"In mid June 2011, at its 17th session, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution to accelerate efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women. The Resolution called for a study to be conducted on the issue of violence against women and girls and disabilities, with the report of the study to be presented to the 20th session of the Human Rights Council in 2012. WWDA's Submission to the preparation phase of the UN Analytical Study on Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities, provides an overview of the legislation, regulatory frameworks, policy, administrative procedures, services and support available within Australia to prevent and address violence against women and girls with disabilities. It provides detailed information under the following themes: data and statistics; legislation and policies; prevention and protection; prosecution and punishment, and recovery, rehabilitation and social integration"
"The present study is submitted pursuant to paragraph 11 of Human Rights Council resolution 17/11. It examines the causes and manifestations of violence against women and girls with disabilities. The study provides an analysis of national legislation, policies and programmes for the protection and prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities. It highlights the remaining challenges in addressing the root causes of violence against women and girls with disabilities and incorporating women and girls with disabilities into gender-based violence programmes. The study concludes with recommendations on legislative, administrative, policy and programmatic measures to address violence against women and girls with disabilities, emphasising the need for a holistic approach aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and girls with disability; promoting their autonomy and addressing specific risk factors that expose them to violence"
This paper presents the findings of a "participatory research project, developed collaboratively between Australian and Cambodian partners, (that) investigated prevalence and experiences of gender-based violence of women with disabilities in comparison to women without disabilities; assessed the extent to which existing policies and programs include or address women with disabilities; and explored how women with disabilities are supported or denied access to existing programs"
AusAID Research Working Paper 1
This video features two perspectives of members from the Deaf community in Fiji about violence against women and girls. The issue of violence is defined and examples of support services are provided. This video is useful for anyone interested in violence issues in Fiji
"The aim of this paper is to educate people about the violence experienced by women with disabilities, to make recommendations about what can be done by a variety of stakeholders to end violence against women with disabilities, to motivate agencies dealing with violence against women to include prevention of violence against women with disabilities in their work, and to empower women with disabilities to protect themselves against violence"
Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities
This is a case study of violence and sexual abuse towards women with disabilities in Malawi. It is based on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. This work examines the childhood and adult experiences of these women, and asserts that discrimination, stigma and vulnerability is worse for adult women.It claims that improvements to access and education will lead to empowerment, thus improving the overall quality of life that women with disabilities can enjoy. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in human/ women's rights and disability
"Research findings reveal that women with disabilities experience rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that are comparable to, if not greater than, women without disabilities. Disability specialists propose that women with disabilities experience specific vulnerabilities to abuse. The question in the present study was, ‘What types of abuse experienced by women with physical disabilities are directly related to their disability?’ Of the 504 women with disabilities who responded to a questionnaire assessing sexuality and relationships, 181 of the women completed open-ended questions about abuse. Using qualitative techniques, we analysed their responses and identified disability-specific types of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse"
Sexuality and Disability, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2001
An easy to read factsheet detailing information about gender-based violence for people with disabilities and support available
This report presents key findings on the evidence from research studies on violence against women with disabilities (WWD) and evidence from interventions to prevent violence. Despite the greater vulnerability of WWD to gender-based violence (GBV), this report recognises that more research and innovation is needed to develop effective responses, including the identification of risk factors, especially in low-middle income settings. It notes the absence of publications on GBV against WWD, the lack of rigour and demonstrable effectiveness of interventions so far and presents key lessons learned and conclusions. This resource is useful for anyone interested in prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities
This manual "has been developed for use in the field in order to train animators who work with children and other child protection programme staff...The modules in this manual have been grouped according to the following 3 categories: 1. Facilitating a training, 2. Basic concepts for intervention, 3. Animator’s competencies. Each module is laid out under the following headings: What is it? Why is it useful? How can I use it?"
This document is an advocacy report on sexual violence against children with disabilities. It is based on evidence generated from a literature review and primary research in four African countries. Adults with disabilities who had been abused as children were interviewed, as well as carers, lawyers, judges, police, social workers, teachers and members of disabled people's organisations. The report concludes with a set of recommendations, developed in consultation with children, young people and professionals working globally on this issue
"This report aims to provide more detail on the individual findings of the study. It provides rational for utilising the term sexual violence, an overview of the study between the four countries, individual country analysis of the four countries and additionally recommendations for improving the situation for children with disabilities"
This report "outlines relevant international and European standards and reviews national legislation and policies addressing violence against children with disabilities. The report also explores the extent and different causes, settings and forms of such violence, and presents measures and initiatives to prevent it”
Available in easy-read version from the web link provided
This report sets out findings and recommendations determined by the the Thematic Group on Violence Against Disabled Children. The larger aim of this resource is to identify how violence against disabled children can be best addressed in society. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in child abuse issues, and disability and development
Based on research conducted between April 2007 and February 2008, this thesis collates information gathered from earlier research showing that there is a threat of violence in the life of every child in Ethiopia. Children with a disability are more vulnerable to violence than their non-disabled peers; although the current literature provides an overview about the situation in which children with disabilities live, little is known about violence against children with disabilities in Ethiopia. In this paper, the author compiles stories of Ethiopian children with disabilities told from their own perspectives and analyses why they are more vulnerable to violence than their non-disabled peers
This literature review on the issue of sexual violence against people in East Africa aims to identify applied research. It contains a synthesis of the knowledge contained in the best selected research, reading notes and an annotated bibliography. The synthesis provides an objective summary of the of the state of the knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of people with disabilities in East Africa
This report presents "a two-phase project looking into disabled people’s experiences of targeted violence and hostility. The research has taken a broad approach to targeted violence and hostility against disabled people. The terminology around targeted violence and hostility is ill-defined, and terms such as abuse and harassment are often used interchangeably. In this report we have used ‘targeted violence and hostility’ as an encompassing term to include incidents involving verbal, physical, sexual and emotional violence, harassment and abuse that is directed towards disabled people"
Research report 21
This report concerns HIV and AIDS preventative activities targeting people with disabilities in Kenya. Specifically, the report gathers information concerning the knowledge, attitude and practices among people with disabilities; and qualitative and quantitative data including 618 questionnaires conducted in Nairobi and Mobassa. The report findings advise on the development of policy on HIV and AIDS for people with disabilities in Kenya
This report presents harmful practices that violate the rights of women and children with disabilities and details the standards protecting against harmful practices in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It concludes with recommendations from IDA
"Focusing on the southern parts of the country, this report examines the experiences of persons with mental disabilities in Ghana in the three main environments in which they receive care: the broader community, the country’s three public psychiatric hospitals, and residential prayer camps...Human Rights Watch found that persons with mental disabilities in Ghana often experience a range of human rights abuses in the prayer camps and hospitals that Human Rights Watch researchers visited. These patients are ostensibly sent to these institutions by their family members, police, or their communities for help. Abuses are taking place despite the fact that Ghana has ratified a number of international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was ratified in July 2012. These abuses include denial of food and medicine, inadequate shelter, involuntary medical treatment, and physical abuse amounting to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment"
The report is available in pdf, easy to read and html formats
This website presents the workshop reports and presentations from the second part of an international workshop on "Going beyond the taboos in community-based rehabilitation (CBR)." The workshop focused on violence and abuse towards persons with disabilities and role of CBR in preventing them and supporting the victims. Links are provided to the workshop report and presentations in pdf format
"Going beyond the taboo areas in CBR" workshop, part 2
30 November 2012