National Accessibility Week 2018
May 27 to June 2, 2018 is National AccessAbility Week, an initiative to celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country. May is also Sexual Assault Awareness month.
According to a March 2018 report released by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics on the violent victimization of women with disabilities, women with disabilities experience higher levels of violence and victimization on every front. For example:
- Women with disabilities are twice as likely as those who do not have a disability to be the victim of violent crimes, as well as twice as likely to have been victimized more than once in the last 12 months.
- 39% of self-reported violent crime (including sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault) involve a victim with a disability, 45% of these represent women with disabilities.
- Women with disabilities are twice as likely as women without disabilities to have been sexually assaulted in the last year.
- With respect to spousal abuse, 39% of women with disabilities have experienced spousal violence, 46% have been physically injured because of this violence, and 38% have feared for their lives.
On top of this women with disabilities and Deaf women face significant barriers to reporting abuse. They are not believed when they report abuse, they face communication barriers and in some cases, they are dependent on their abuser for primary care and financial support.
This speaks to the pressing need for accessibility to be built directly into violence against women sector, including policy and legislation that addresses the needs of women with disabilities specifically.