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Surviving Disablist Hate Rape : Barriers, Intersectionalities and Collective Interventions with Disabled Women in the North of England.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2014
Number of pages402
Awarding Institution
Place of PublicationLancaster
  • Lancaster University
Electronic ISBNs9780438571488
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis investigates the aftermath of hate crimes involving rape, perpetrated against disabled women in the North of England. Disabled women are much more likely to experience sexual violence than non-disabled women or disabled men; they experience higher rates of re-victimisation and substantial harms after hate crime. Yet to date, voices of disabled victims and Survivors are largely invisible in the scholarly literatures of hate crime or violence against women. This sociological research therefore set out to investigate barriers in current provision and explore how disabled women might best access support, justice and interventions after disablist hate rape. The research utilized standpoint feminist methodology, underpinned by the social model of disability. Nine focus groups with eighty-two victims and Survivors after disablist hate rape were conducted between 2010 and 2013. The intersectional nature of violence against disabled women emerged as a key theme and findings indicated how disablist hate rapes are distinct compared with rapes of non-disabled women, particularly in terms of sexual extortion. These data problematize the use of homogenizing mainstream interventions; findings indicate how collective and community interventions have key roles to play in resisting harms after disablist hate rape. Significantly, this is the first UK research concerning disablist hate crime involving rape to be inclusive of women with many physical, sensory, mental health and intellectual impairment labels, women in institutions and women who rely on the perpetrators of sexual violence to access personal support. It is the first study to unpack audist hate crime against Deaf women. The thesis demonstrates how feminist reciprocal and participative methods are adapted for use in research and interventions with diverse disabled or Deaf Survivors. Recommendations are made to improve the constructions of vulnerability, safety and hate crime against disabled people in criminal justice, health, social care and refuges in England and Wales.

Bibliographic note

Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2014.