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Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
November 2016

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The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

Expand view

Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Youth with disabilities

GROCE, Nora
KETT, Maria
April 2014

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Of all groups of youth, the group about which we know the least are youth with disabilities. In transition between childhood and adulthood, these are the years when all young people go through physical and psychological maturation, are expected to complete their education, acquire skills and assume a social identity that will enable them to fully participate in their communities and societies. This working paper discusses the issues faced by young people with disabilities and what is known and not known about this distinct age group

Working Paper 23

 

Counting the invisible : understanding the lives of people with disabilities in Pakistan

SINGAL, Nidhi
BHATTI, Feyza
MAILK, Rabea
2009

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This paper discusses "the conceptual underpinnings and findings of a household survey conducted in two regions of Pakistan which attempted to address some of these gaps in existing knowledge....The findings of this survey emphasize the continued marginalization of young people with disabilities in the areas of education, employment and marriage prospects. Additionally, reflections on the research process highlight the many challenges entailed in undertaking research on disability issues"
RECOUP Working Paper No 23

Integrated questionnaire for the measurement of social capital

GROOTAERT, Christiaan
et al
2004

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This paper introduces a tool, the Integrated Questionnaire for the Measurement of Social Capital, with a focus on developing countries. The tool aims to generate quantitative data on six dimensions of social capital as part of a larger household survey. These dimensions are: groups and networks, trust and solidarity, collective action and cooperation, information and communication, social cohesion and inclusion, empowerment and political action. The tool was tested in Albania and Nigeria and the lessons learned are presented

Forgotten villages : struggling to survive under closure in the West Bank

O'BRIEN, Lee
PICKUP, Francine
September 2002

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This briefing paper describes the humanitarian impact of the Israeli government's policy of closure and restriction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Closure policies have undermined or even broken links to markets, services and jobs, leaving rural communities facing impoverishment and unemployment, lack of access to services, a weakened agricultural sector, and increased vulnerability to Israeli settler violence. The recommendations in this paper focus particularly on the social and economic impact of closure on those living in Palestinian villages across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The most urgent of these call for an immediate end to the Government of Israel's policy of closure of Palestinian civilian areas

Social capital : the missing link?

GROOTAERT, Christiaan
1998

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This paper describes social capital as the missing link in the understanding of growth and development, which has traditionally been analysed in terms of physical, natural and human capital. It also discusses the definition, monitoring and measurement of social capital, and ends with a list of suggestions for donors seeking to incorporate these ideas in their work

Women, sex and disability : a triple taboo

NELSON, Daniel

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This article describes how sexuality appears to be a major taboo for disabled women in the regions of Africa and India. It highlights how sexual discrimination towards disabled women exists in society and how they are often at a greater risk of contracting HIV and AIDS

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