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Resources for Persons with Disabilities
Resources for Persons with Disabilities
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Statistics have shown that people with disabilities are twice as likely to be assaulted as those without disabilities. Persons of any age with physical or intellectual disabilities are at increased risk of abuse. Dependence on a caregiver can make it more difficult for a disabled person to escape or report abuse.

This page is created to provide information for persons with disabilities or concerned individuals looking for information and options within Labrador.
 
Defining the Problem
All women, men, and children with disabilities can be victims of abuse. Research has shown, however, that women and children are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Source: Nova Scotia, Fact Sheet 8, Abuse of Persons with Disabilities, 2003.

Women

Evidence shows that women with disabilities are more subject to violence -- especially those with intellectual disabilities -- than other women. Source: Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Supporting Persons with Disabilities: A Government of Canada report, 2004.

It is estimated that 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually abused in their lifetime. Source: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, 2004.

For women with disabilities, the abuse may be perpetrated by an intimate partner or spouse, by a family member or support giver (e.g., health care service provider, doctor, nurse, and residential staff or attendant). Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2005.

Children

Research indicates that children with disabilities are 1.7 times more likely to experience violence than children without disabilities. Children with intellectual disabilities are 3.8 times more likely to experience physical and emotional abuse, and 4 times more likely to be sexually abused. Source: Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Supporting Persons with Disabilities: A Government of Canada report, 2004.

Mental Health and Violence

Of those persons who have received care at a mental health institution as an inpatient, 80% have experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2005 - adopted from Violence Prevention Initiative fact sheet.
 
Violence and Disability
People with disabilities are subject to all forms of abuse including …

  • Physical abuse that can range from hitting and pinching to forcing someone to eat faster than they are able.
  • Sexual abuse such as inappropriate touching during toilet routines or sexual assault.
  • Isolating the person socially by refusing to take them to social activities or taking away a communication device.
  • Financial abuse which includes withholding money or stealing money.
  • Emotional /Verbal abuse including threats to leave the person alone, name-calling
  • Neglect which involves failure to provide the necessities of life such as proper food, medicine or a safe, clean shelter.

These are some examples of abuse of people living with disabilities. These violate the integrity of the person and leave the victim with feelings of powerlessness, loneliness, isolation, fear, depression and/or physical injuries.

There are many reasons why Persons with Disabilities are more vulnerable to violence.

  • The victim may not be able to call for help, protest or get away.
  • They may be dependent on others for care which means that people, including strangers, have legitimate access to their homes and bodies.
  • A complaint by a victim may jeopardize or interrupt essential services.
  • People with disabilities may not develop adequate boundaries or may have had their boundaries undermined because they are so dependent on others for their daily functioning.
  • They are afraid they may not be believed, that the caregiver may be seen as more "credible".

The factors that make persons with disabilities more susceptible to abuse are often the very same factors that cause a person to refrain from reporting violence. These factor include:

  • Dependence on a caregiver
  • Lack of access to support services
  • Mobility/cognitive/communication impairments
  • Societal assumptions
 
Information for Victims
Please refer to our other pages for specific information if you are a victim of violence and are a Woman, Youth, or Older Adult.

Crisis Contact Information

If you are a victim of violence and want to seek help, please Click here for Crisis Contact information for Labrador.

Additional Resources for Persons with Disabilities in Labrador

Click here for a listing of additional contact resources within Labrador.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects individuals in Labrador communities. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause intellectual deficits and learning disabilities; hyperactivity; attention and/or memory deficits; inability to manage anger; difficulties with problem solving; and prenatal and postnatal growth deficiencies.

For more information on this Disorder and to find help in Labrador, contact:

Elaine Lyall, LGH FASD
Coordinato
896-6621
elaine.lyall@lghealth.ca

Gillian Saunders
Nunatsiavut
896-9763 ext. 264
gillian_saunders@nunatsiavut.com

Mary Pia Benuen
Sheshatshiu
497-8522
mpia@sifn.ca

Martyne Nui
Natuashish
478-8789
nashkueu@hotmail.com

George Maringapasi
478-8760
gjmaringapasi@yahoo.com

Links

  • The Office of Employment Equity for Persons with Disabilities has as its mandate to increase the representation of persons with disabilities employed in the public service.
  • Special Needs Information Service Online provides a comprehensive directory and a user-friendly searchable database of service agencies and programs for children with special needs, birth to 18 years of age.
  • Operating at the provincial and local levels, Coalition Of Persons with Disabilities is an advocacy organization concerned with all persons with disabilities, promoting their rights and raising public awareness of their needs.
  • DAWN - DisAbled Women's Network Ontario is a progressive, volunteer-driven, feminist organization promoting social justice, human rights and the advancement of equality rights through education, research, advocacy coalition-building, resource development and information technology. The mission of DAWN is to generate knowledge, information and skills to advance the inclusion, citizenship and equality rights of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) - is a non-profit organization which provides information about the law to New Brunswickers. The purpose of the publication providede here is to answer some questions about abuse and neglect of seniors or people with disabilities. It may also help family, friends and caregivers of older adults or persons with disabilities.
 
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