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Did you know?

According to Status of Women Canada re Women with Disabilities and Violence:

Women with disabilities are at a higher risk for violence in both spousal and non-spousal contexts. Some estimates suggest that women with disabilities experience physical and sexual violence at 3 to 4 times the rate of women who do not report disabilities

According to the American Psychological Society

Women with disabilities have a 40 percent greater chance of intimate partner violence than women without disabilities?

Women with disabilities may experience unique forms of abuse that are difficult to recognize — making it even harder to get the kind of help they need. Such abuse may include:

  • Removing or destroying a person’s mobility devices (e.g., wheelchairs, scooters, walkers).
  • Denying access to and/or taking prescribed medication from someone.
  • Forcing someone to take medication against her will.
  • Forcing someone to lie in soiled undergarments.
  • Preventing access to food.
  • Inappropriately touching a person while assisting with bathing and/or dressing.
  • Denying access to disability-related resources in the community and/or to health care appointments.

More information in the link below.

According to DAWN-RAFH Canada



Violence against women with disabilities shares common characteristics with violence against women in general . Women with disabilities also experience forms of abuse that women without disabilities do not. Violence against women and girls with disabilities is not just a subset of gender-based violence – it is an intersectional category dealing with gender-based and disability-based violence. The confluence of these two factors results in an extremely high risk of violence against women with disabilities.

Women with disabilities experience a wider range of emotional, physical and sexual abuse: by personal attendants and by health care providers, as well as higher rates of emotional abuse both by strangers and other family members . They also can be prevented from using a wheelchair, cane, respirator, or other assistive devices.

There remains almost no literature regarding the risk of abuse, women’s experiences of abuse, and barriers to seeking help among women with disabilities. The absence of attention to this issue from both disability and violence researchers has contributed to the ‘invisibility’ of the victimization of women with disabilities ”.


High rates of violence

  • A DAWN-RAFH Canada study found that although 1 out 5 of all Canadian women live with a disability , 40% of respondents had experienced some form of violence in their lives.
  • Another study indicated that 60% of women with disabilities are likely to experience some form of violence in the course of their adult lives.
  • Considering all violent crimes, including those committed by spouses, a Canadian study shows 51% of women with activity limitations had been victims of more than one violent crime during the 12 preceding months compared to 36% of women without limitations.
  • Disabled women are at risk of violence in many forms – neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and financial exploitation.
  • Women and girls with disabilities are at a high risk of experiencing gender-based and other forms of violence due to social stereotypes that often serve to reduce their agency by infantilizing, dehumanizing and isolating them, making them vulnerable to various forms of violence, including institutional violence.
  • Persons with mental or behavioural disabilities experience personal victimization at a rate four times that of the rate of people who have none.
  • Women with disabilities are exposed to additional risks of abuse by caregivers who provide services specifically related to her disability.
  • Women with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence related to alcohol or drug use than are men with disabilities.
  • Women with disabilities experience sexual violence in various forms such as; violations of privacy, restraint, strip searches, and solitary confinement that replicate the trauma of rape, rape by staff and other inmates/residents of institutions, forced abortion and forced sterilization.
  • In a study comparing the rates of instances of sexual and physical assault among women with and women without disabilities, it was determined that women with disabilities were four times more likely to have experienced a sexual assault than women without disabilities.

More information in the link below.

Women with Disabilities and Violence (Summary and PDF Document)

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women


Did you know?

What you can do to Stop Violence Against Women?


Here are some tips from the Status of Women Canada website:

Tips for Parents

As a parent or guardian, how you live your own life can have an enormous impact on your children. When parents treat one another – and family, friends and children – with respect and resolve conflicts in positive, non-abusive ways, they send a powerful message to their children to respect others and to expect the same in return. Parents can also help their children learn empathy by finding opportunities to teach them to be accepting of others. They can also teach their children to recognize mistreatment, to understand it is wrong and that there are things a child can do to stop it.

5 Things We Can All Do to Stop Violence Against Women

1. Consider what you would do if you witnessed a woman being threatened or assaulted.

If you see a woman being threatened or assaulted, you don't have to stand by and do nothing. Based on what you see, you may be able to defuse the situation by approaching the woman, perhaps along with others, and asking her if she is alright and whether she needs help. If you have concerns about your safety and that of the woman being harassed, you should call 911 and get the police involved.

2. Wherever there's drinking, always be thinking.

Taking advantage of a woman who's had too much to drink is wrong. It is a crime to have sexual contact with a person without her voluntary consent. If you see a woman in a vulnerable situation, offer to help her get home safe. Speak up if any friend, or stranger, tries to 'score' with a woman who's had too much to drink.

3. Suspect a friend is being abused? Talk to her about it.

If you have a female friend who you suspect is being physically or emotionally abused by her partner or an ex, ask her about it. She may feel helpless, but a friend breaking the silence may be just what she needs to start getting help.

4. Suspect a friend is being abusive? Talk to him about it.

If you have a male friend who you suspect is physically or emotionally abusing a woman, get him alone and calmly tell him you value his friendship but you're troubled by his behaviour. Let him know that non-consensual physical or sexual contact, even in a relationship, is a crime. This may support him to see that what he is doing is wrong. It doesn't have to mean the end of your friendship.

5. Don't like abusive and derogatory language about women? Speak up!

Abusive language about women in general, or talk that cruelly demeans a specific woman or women, often occurs in social situations or online. You can object to this behaviour in a non-confrontational way just by saying, or posting, "It's just wrong to talk about women that way. Stop it." Do the right thing. You may be surprised by how many of your friends agree with you and were just waiting for someone to speak up.

5 Things Men Can do to Help Raise Boys who Respect Women

1. Practice what you preach

It's a cliché, but it's true: actions speak louder than words. So above all, walk the walk. Always address women with respect. Whatever you demand of your son, show how important it is by demonstrating it yourself.

2. Don't put up with putting down women

Unfortunately, in some settings, such as sports, there's often a tradition of language and humour that can be degrading to women. If you hear a boy or young man who looks up to you engaging in it, tell him it's unacceptable and tell him why you won't tolerate it. If it happens among your peers, remind them that young men/boys look up to them.

3. Make sure he develops other kinds of respect

Respecting women is part of a greater respect for others. Ensure that he treats his teachers, classmates, friends, and his teammates and opponents, with the same respect he'd like to receive from them.

4. Find out who his heroes are and what they do

It's common for young men to idolize famous athletes, musicians or actors. However, when it comes to respecting women, the personal behaviour of some of these heroes can leave much to be desired. Encourage him to think for himself, and let him know that not everything about his hero is worthy of imitation. Help him to identify heroes that respect women – they are out there!

5. Make sure he learns that sexual assault is always wrong

If he seeks your advice about girls and dating, seize the opportunity to talk to him about healthy relationships. Make sure he understands that forcing a girl to do something sexual that she doesn't want to do is always wrong and is a crime. No matter what his friends say. Wrong. Always.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women
Copyright © 2018 Zonta District 4, All rights reserved.

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