New NZ study explores the hidden abuse of disabled people
Thu 27 Jun 2013
New New Zealand research has been released on the abuse of disabled people. It is believed to be the first study of its kind of New Zealand. The ...
New New Zealand research has been released on the abuse of disabled people. It is believed to be the first study of its kind of New Zealand.
The study, The Hidden Abuse of Disabled People Residing in the Community: An Exploratory Study, was commissioned by Tairawhiti Community Voice and authored by Dr Michael Roguski of Kaitiaki Research and Evaluation. It explores the kinds of abuse experienced by disabled people who require high levels of support involved in their day to-day care and identifies the range of people who are abusers. The study aimed to:
- increase understanding of the multidimensional nature in which abuse manifests in relation to disabled people and
- identify the individual and structural barriers that prevent disabled people from voicing and extracting themselves from abusive environments.
Structural issues which were identified as maintaining the status quo include:
- a low level of societal awareness of disability abuse
- a variety of silencing processes
- a lack of appropriate monitoring
- poor management practice of a variety of disability-related residences and services.
The Auckland Domestic Violence and Disability (DVD) group, a group of disabled people and people working in the areas of disability and domestic violence, considers the report timely and solution focussed. The group urges the government to take action on the report, and the recommendations.
Further international research on the abuse of disabled children and adults is available in full text electronically through the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse database. Two international reviews commissoned by the World Health Organization were published in 2012. Prevalence and risk of violence against children with disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies found that overall, disabled children are 3.7 times more likely those without disabilities to be victims of any sort of violence. Prevalence and risk of violence against adults with disabilities : a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies found that overall, disabled adults are 1.5 times more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a disability, while those with mental health conditions are at nearly four times the risk of experiencing violence.
An Australian article Inclusive domestic violence standards: strategies to improve interventions for women with disabilities was published in February 2013. It seeks to outline a set of internationally transferrable standards for inclusive practice with women with disabilities affected by domestic violence; and report on the results of a documentary analysis of domestic violence service standards, codes of practice, and practice guidelines.
Feature guest - Huhana Hickey, Radio NZ Nine to Noon, 24.06.2013 Dr Huhana Hickey is a lawyer in Auckland who has a particular interest in representing people with disabilities.