Friday, 16 November 2012

Everyone needs the right help - survivors with impairments need services

Postcard number 2 from the Green Party campaign for survivors of sexual violence to have the support they need to recover:

Good question - when you might not know what has happened to you is sexual abuse - because it happened as part of personal care, or the person who did it said if you told anyone they would stop you getting the assistance you needed, or it was happening to everyone else in the institution you are learning/working/receiving support from - who do you tell?

Sexual violence is epidemic for people with impairments.  International research has shown rates of sexual abuse between 50% and 90% for children with impairments - we don't have that research here, but outreach to groups of adults with disabilities give us horrifying disclosure rates.  People with impairments are selected for sexual violence because they are seen as vulnerable - and the ways our society is organised makes this so. 

Yet we have no specialist service for survivors of sexual violence who have any kind of impairment.  Because these services have been chronically underfunded for decades.  Join Everyone needs the right help to try and change that.


Paul Williams said...

Longtime between posts for me. Thanks for alerting me to this. Again, the Greens are out in front on issues that genuinely matter. One question though, the phrase "people with impairments", is that the preferred description in NZ? In Aus, it's people with disability.

LudditeJourno said...

Hey Paul, think the social model of disability (argues that it's social organisation that's disabling, not necessarily impairments) suggests drawing attention to the impairment can be useful - hence my using both terms. Disability Advocacy groups I've worked with use both terms. Good question :-)