A survey on violence and discrimination among people with disabilities

BMC Public Health 2018 18:355

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5277-0

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to quantify levels of violence and discrimination among people with disabilities and analyze the effects of gender and the type and degree of disability.

Methods

The study analyzed data on self-reported violence and discrimination from a Danish national survey of 18,019 citizens, of whom 4519 reported a physical disability and 1398 reported a mental disability.

Results

Individuals with disabilities reported significantly higher levels of violence than those without. Specifically, individuals reporting a mental disability reported higher levels of violence and discrimination. Significant gender differences were found with regard to type of violence: while men with disabilities were more likely to report physical violence, women with disabilities were more likely to report major sexual violence, humiliation and discrimination. Neither severity nor visibility of disability was found to be a significant factor for risk of violence.

Conclusions

This large-scale study lends support to existing research showing that people with disabilities are at greater risk of violence than people without disabilities. Further, the study found that people with mental disabilities were significantly more likely to report all types of violence and discrimination than those with physical disabilities. The findings also show that gender is significant in explaining the type of violence experienced and the experience of discrimination.

New digital resource on revenge po*rn & cyberbullying in SA

The Law Society, 2 November 2016

The Law Society and University of Adelaide have launched a new digital cyberbullying resource which deals with new revenge porn laws that came into force in SA on Friday.

A cyberbullying section has been added to the app Out of Bounds (previously called The Naked Truth), which also explains the laws surrounding unlawful sexual intercourse and sexting.

The new cyberbullying section provides a snapshot of South Australian and Federal laws that can apply to a range of cyberbullying activities, including revenge porn, trolling, and stalking. It also features a graphic novel style narrative about a school student who has been subject to cyber abuse, and the devastating ramifications for both the victim and the perpetrators involved.

The cyberbullying section is a natural extension of the app, said Law Society President David Caruso.

“As well as adding an extensive cyberbullying section, we’ve updated the sexting section of the app to reflect new laws which criminalise revenge porn,” Mr Caruso said.

“Sexting can quickly turn from digital flirting to bullying. Cyberbullying in all its forms is a particularly insidious and devastating form of victimisation. It is impossible to escape, it emboldens more people to demean others under the veil of anonymity, and the vitriol and humiliation can spread far wider and quicker than traditional ‘schoolyard’ bullying.”

“The South Australian Government ought to be commended for acknowledging this and strengthening laws against revenge porn. In saying this, we still see scope for further law reform that reduces the risk of teenagers facing child pornography charges for naïve but innocent behaviour, while maintaining a zero tolerance approach to sexual predators.

“Of course, laws can only do so much – the key is education.”

University of Adelaide law lecturer Dr Colette Langos, who collaborated with the Law Society on the app, said: “Many young people regard sexting as a common behaviour, so it is especially important to make sure they understand where ‘a bit of fun between friends’ crosses the line and becomes unlawful conduct.”

“Evidence-based research informs us that non-consensual behaviour in the form of cyberbullying or ‘revenge porn’ has the potential to harm a victim in a profound manner given the public humiliation which follows distribution of the image online. Law reform in this area may better protect victims.”

Dr Langos said the new law enables police to charge a person under the age of 17 years with a non-indictable offence of ‘distribution of an invasive image’ rather than charging a young person under the child pornography legislation. The new laws also make it an offence to threaten to distribute an invasive image.

“There is a big distinction between abhorrent, predatory conduct and conduct which frequently, and sometimes regrettably, occurs between young people without predatory intent,” Dr Langos said.

Mr Caruso said: “This app is not designed to scare young people into changing their behaviour. It aims to explain the law in a digestible and interactive way to help young people make informed decisions. Many teenagers, and older people for that matter, are not aware of the legal boundaries regarding sexual behaviour and online communication.”

– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Apple Device
– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Android device
– Visit the Out of Bounds webpage

Source

The women abandoned to their online abusers

Guardian, 11 April 2016

They face harassment including death threats and racist abuse. Why are social media sites and police unable or unwilling to tackle the problem?

For the past 16 months, Suzanne Fernandes has been targeted online with racial abuse, pornography and death threats. The two individuals she believes are responsible share many similarities: an interest in far-right politics, an ability to create multiple anonymous fake social media accounts, and past convictions for extreme internet harassment. After making 126 crime reports to the British police and numerous reports to Twitter and Facebook, Fernandes feels destroyed and defeated.

Revelations about the continued activities of the two men comes as the police in England and Wales admit that the scale of harassment, threats and abuse online threatens to overwhelm them. As the internet is borderless, so is the abuse.

Read more here