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Bullying and harassment of people with disabilities: the 3 Rs recognising, reporting and responding Prof Hilary Brown Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying and harassment of people with disabilities: the 3 Rs recognising, reporting and responding Prof Hilary Brown Canterbury Christ Church University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying and harassment of people with disabilities: the 3 Rs recognising, reporting and responding Prof Hilary Brown Canterbury Christ Church University copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 1

2 Previous work on abuse against disabled people In UK No secrets 2000 brought together first cross government response to growing awareness of this issue and of the range of abuses being perpetrated against all vulnerable people Distinct research strands on sexual abuse and intellectual disability and on elder abuse brought together Work on institutional failures and breaches of professional boundaries including formal inquiries and reviews Council of Europe 2002 produced Safeguarding Children and Adults against abuse had action against abuse as a key line in the 10 year disability action plan copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 2

3 Council of Europe group 2002 … Defined different forms of abuse and abusing Listed contexts in which it might happen and how these were embedded in specific forms of scrutiny, governance and regulation (or not) Provided case studies to raise awareness Set out a social model of vulnerability and used this as a map for designing interventions at each stage in the process of victimisation and at each level across government departments copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 3

4 Additional risks of abuse and human rights violation for disabled people… Exclusion from mainstream service provision Discrimination in health, education, housing, employment and welfare Unable to access public places and spaces Denied legal advocacy and routes for challenge Invisible or stigmatised in media breaches of professional boundaries by arrogant grandiose and unaccountable staff resentful, down- trodden and hard- done-by staff Family violence, neglect or negligence partner violence between parent and adult child between adult child and older parent more distant relatives Parasitic, exploitativemate crime rigid depersonalised regimes neglectful care staff out of their depth or not available cruel, humiliating individuals hate crimes predatory crimes sexual and financial Unethical, unjustified and/ or unauthorised practice in response to challenging needs Targetted abuseInstitutional abuseProfessional abuseDomestic abuse Unethical practice Systemic abuse and social exclusion Risks multiplied by structural inequalities, gender, ethnicity and/or religion Ordinary risk crimes, but vulnerable victims copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 4

5 What is a social model of vulnerability… It is a way of thinking about vulnerability that is not patronising or impairment specific because the vulnerability is outside the person i.e. a social model Vulnerable groups tend to be placed in, or left in, situations of higher risk than would be tolerated for others Not heard, believed or taken notice of when they make complaints Not helped to recover or recompensed Because of these situations disabled women and girls risk being seen aseasy targets especially for powerful people who assume that they will be given little credence and that they will be able to abuse with impunity i.e. toget away with it Failures at each of these stages compound each other so that prevention needs to take place at each of these stages, primary to prevent abuse, secondary to make sure it is picked up promptly and tertiary to provide helpful resources copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 5

6 These types of abuse have different psychological origins… Hate crime motivated by need to impress peer group and by displacement of harmful group dynamics Sexual abuse by traumatic sexualisation and dissociation Institutionalised abuse by desensitisation Professional abuse by narcissism or resentment Carer abuse by depression, delusions and learned helplessness So abusive behaviour varies in its intent, intransigence, culpability, visibility… often split off and therefore unseen Things are replayed as internal dialogues justifying a moral holiday this is how the outside gets in and then gets played out again copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 6

7 And there is evidence for seeing a cycle of abuse and disability Disabled people internalise oppression, they may take in a devalued sense of self and this cuts across their own decision-making and self- care which leads to High risk or dont care behaviour and relationship choices which exacerbate risks of abuse, that leads to intolerable feelings and self-states that a person learns to manage or self-medicate (often with alcohol or drugs), this may lead to aggression or withdrawal, addictions and/or self-harm, all of which lead to Further stigmatisation of individuals whose vulnerability is masked by their mental distress and agitation and who end up being blamed for their own situation So we must always be wary of victim blaming especially for people who end up being vulnerable in ways others find difficult copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 7

8 Linking abuse of disabled people to our understandings of abuse against women … Violence towards disabled people and towards women is rooted in inequality not only in personal dynamics and pathology, it draws on and sustains ideologies that perpetuate structural and social exclusion Because targeted violence is fed by inequality, prevention must be located at all levels across government and attend to the setting events as well as to identification and reporting and to dealing with the aftermath of individual abuse Review and develop gender and disability sensitive legislation Use anti-discrimination legislation and educational initiatives to promote positive attitudes and to undermine negative ones Mobilise cross-government initiatives and local partnership working Make explicit the role of mental health services in providing a service for abused women and girls, make clear that abuse has long term consequences Monitor shared learning and awareness of disability issues in mainstream protective and criminal justice agencies copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 8

9 How does this help … makes it imperative to address all its causes, instead of simply dealing with the aftermath… …places targeted violence within the discourse of a wider range of hate crime and taps in to what has been learned by other groups who are victimised..has facilitated more strategic and effective coalition building Action must be taken at every level of government and in every area of government… (see Radford et al 2006) copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 9

10 To summarise…what do we know Abuse of disabled girls and women is embedded in structural inequalities, marginalisation and damaging social attitudes It takes many forms and occurs across all settings It requires concerted action across government departments and sectors It requires action across the divide between specialist and mainstream services It requires a helpful legislative framework We need an infrastructure to support reporting and investigation We aim to prevent, to identify abuse more promptly when it happens, to step in effectively and to provide proper redress and support to women who have been abused… whether they are disabled or not Disabled young people may require additional help to achieve equivalent outcomes copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 10

11 To guide our discussions Aimed at Prevent through education and positive attitudes Report and respond Learning and monitoring Individuals, their families and their neighbourhoods Local or regional services Prosecutors and criminal justice system Other government departments Legislation copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 11

12 12 copyright Canterbury Christ Church University UK 2012 Key reports and references Safeguarding disabled children and adults against abuse Council of Europe 2000 Recommendations of member states on the protection of women against violence Council of Europe adopted April 2002 On targeted abuse Sin, CH. Hedges, A. Cook, C. Mguni, N. Comber, N. (2009) Disabled peoples experiences of targeted violence and hostility London Office for Public Management ISBN 978 1 84206 123 7 Home Office (2007) Learning disability hate crime: Good practice guidance for crime and disorder reduction London Home Office Quarmby, K, (2011) Scapegoat: why are we failing disabled people? Portobello Books London On sexual abuse of people with learning disabilities Brown, H., Stein, J. and Turk, V. (1995) The sexual abuse of adults with learning disabilities: Report of a second two year incidence survey. Mental Handicap Research, 8(1), (pp. 3-24) On institutional abuse Stanley, N. Penhale, B. and Manthorpe, J Institutional Abuse: perspectives across the life course Routledge London On family violence across Lifespan Kingston, P. and Penhale, B, (1995) Family violence and the caring professions Macmillan, Basingstoke UK ISBN 0333 60001 0 Brown, H. (2012) Not only a crime but a tragedy… exploring the murder of adults with disabilities by their parents. Journal of Adult Protection vol 14 no 1 pp6-21 Emerald Group Publishing ISSN 1466-8203 On domestic violence Radford, J. Harne,L. and Trotter, J. (2006) Disabled women and domestic violence as violent crime in practice Practice vol 18 (4) pp233-246 Barclay, H. Mulligan D (undated) Tackling violence against women: lessons for efforts for tackling targetting violence against disabled people Sightsavers UK On ethical interventions Various editions of the Journal of Adult Protection Emerald Publishing On decision-making in situations of vulnerability Brown, H (2011) The role of emotion in decision-making Journal of Adult Protection vol 13 no 4 pp 194-202 Emerald Group Publishing On reports of abuse of vulnerable adults to public welfare authorities in UK Cambridge. P, Beadle-Brown, J. Milne, A. Mansell, J. and Whelton, B, (2011)Adult Profection: the processes and outcomes of adult protection referrals in two English Local Authorities Journal of Social Work vol 11 (3) pp 247-267 Brown, H, (2009) The process and function of serious case review Journal of Adult Protection vol 11 issue 1 pp38-50 Emerald Publishing

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