Helping people with a physical disability escape domestic abuse
A new awareness campaign being coordinated by Buckinghamshire County Council is focusing on the domestic abuse of people with a physical disability.
Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social background, and people with a physical disability can be subject to abuse in the same ways as someone who is not disabled, whether it is physical, psychological, sexual or financial.
But people with a disability may be additionally vulnerable because they rely on their abuser to help with mobility or undertaking everyday tasks such as preparing food. The abuser may in addition be able to isolate the person by limiting their access to means of communication and, using their position as a carer, by being present if health or social care professionals visit the home.
The purpose of the new campaign, which will be launched to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week 2-8 May, is to raise awareness to those with a physical disability of how to report abusive treatment and get help to live a life free of abuse. The campaign will promote the contact numbers of organisations that can help, and encourage people to take the step and call.
Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health, said: “The under-reporting of domestic abuse is a serious problem, and for some groups such as the physically disabled it is particularly poor. That’s why we need to publicise the helplines as widely as possible – and I’d ask everyone to promote them wherever they can.”
Sara of Wycombe Women’s Aid said: “People with disabilities are more vulnerable to domestic abuse and will often face additional difficulties in attempting to get help. Our teams understand that reporting abuse is never easy, and can be even more challenging with a disability – but we’re here to give you the help and support you need, please contact us”.
You can call Wycombe Women’s Aid on 01494 461367, Aylesbury Women’s Aid on 01296 437777 or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. For further information you can visit www.reducingtherisk.org.uk