Disability Hate Crime
Did you know that the number of disability hate incidents is higher than the number of religious or homophobic hate incidents? Mencap’s ‘Living in Fear’ report (published in 2000) found that:
- Almost 9 in 10 people with a learning disability surveyed had experienced bullying or harassment in the past year – an incredible 88%
- Of these, two thirds (66%) of people were victims regularly and one third (32%) were being bullied on a daily or weekly basis
- Three quarters (73%) of people had experienced bullying or harassment in a public place
- Half (47%) of the people surveyed had suffered verbal abuse, and a quarter (23%) had been physically assaulted.
It seems that many people are still ignorant to the extent of these hate crimes, and how people with disabilities are still looked down upon. More needs to be done to raise awareness for these kinds of issues. Although, it is no wonder people are unaware or maybe even scared to report anything. The police often do not take reports very seriously. Staggeringly, only 3% of reports that are recorded by the police are classed as hate crimes, and only 1% led to prosecutions. Laws against disability hate crimes need to be as strong as possible. They are not just damaging to individual’s but to society and communities in general.
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