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Victimized again?: intersectionality and injustice in disabled women's lives after hate crime and rape

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

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Abstract

Background
Disabled women are reported to be between twice and five times more likely to experience sexual violence than non-disabled women or disabled men; when these are hate crimes they compound harms for both victims and communities.

Purpose
This user-led research explores how disabled and Deaf victims and Survivors most effectively resist the harm and injustice they experience after experiencing disablist hate crime involving rape.

Design/methodology/approach
Feminist standpoint methods are employed with reciprocity as central. This small-scale peer research was undertaken with University ethics and supervision over a five year period. Subjects (n=522) consisted of disabled and Deaf victims and Survivors in North of England.

Findings
The intersectional nature of violence against disabled women unsettles constructed macro binaries of public/private space violence and the location of disabled women as inherently vulnerable. Findings demonstrate how seizing collective identity can usefully resist re-victimization, tackle the harms after disablist hate crime involving rape and resist the homogenization of both women and disabled people.

Practical implications
The chapter outlines inequalities in disabled people’s human rights and recommends service and policy improvements, as well as informing methods for conducting ethical research.

Originality/value
This is perhaps the first user-led, social model based feminist standpoint research to explore the collective resistance to harm after experiencing disablist hate crime involving rape. It crossed impairment boundaries and included community living, segregated institutions and women who rely on perpetrators for personal assistance. It offers new evidence of how disabled and Deaf victims and Survivors can collectively unsettle the harms of disablist hate crime and rape and achieve justice and safety on a micro level.