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Almost half of disabled women sexually abused

The Local · 23 Nov 2011, 06:35

Published: 23 Nov 2011 06:35 GMT+01:00

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The results found by researchers at the University of Bielefeld was presented by German Family Minister Kristina Schröder on Tuesday evening. She told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung beforehand that the researchers had exposed “shockingly high” levels of abuse – roughly double that what able-bodied women experience.

“The good news is that with these findings, more light will finally be brought into this cruel darkness,” she told the newspaper. “Physical and sexual violence takes place everywhere people rely on support and care, and this trust can be exploited.”

During childhood and adolescence, about half of all women are molested sexually by adults, according to the findings, but even when they grow up, the abuse doesn't stop. About 30 percent of women with disabilities so severe that they must live in institutions have been abused by other adults, according to the study – this is compared to the 10 percent cited in a previous study.

Additionally, three out of four women with disabilities experience non-physical sexual harassment by the time they become adults, and between 58 and 73 percent of disabled women are physically abused during adulthood, the research reported.

Between 50 and 60 percent of women are victimized by psychological abuse during their youth, compared to 36 percent of women in the general population, according to the report.

Schröder has plans to start a special 24-hour hotline specifically for women facing abuse in 2012.

Bundestag member Herman Kues said that in light of the study results, “We have to give these women special protection and support."

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:42 November 23, 2011 by catjones
These women don't need 'special protection and support' as much as police and prosecutors should be arresting the criminals who do the abusing and send them to jail. There they can find out what it's like to be at the other end...so to speak.
14:48 November 23, 2011 by nolibs
In other news today, researchers discovered that more than half of studies and polls are just made up.
16:43 November 23, 2011 by raandy
catjones right on, lets start with arresting the abusers, a little criminal investigational work is sorely needed here.
17:14 November 23, 2011 by jbaker
Yes the abusers need to be stopped and put away. This can be far more easily done if the abused speak up and fight back at the first instance of an abuse. Most take the abuse for half a lifetime or more before seeking help. A lot more die in fear of seeking help.

This problem perpetuates itself through the offspring of the abusers and the cycle is endless.
22:46 November 23, 2011 by charlenej
nolibs -- what are you talking about? People are able to find a way to throw in snark on an issue like this? That's just kind of evil. Hope you or your loved ones never find yourself in a situation like this.

jbaker -- depending on the severity of the disability many of these women are physically or mentally unable to "speak up" or "fight back". And in this case, and honestly in the case of all abused people, whether disabled, children, or otherwise, any response that puts too much blame or onus on the victim to stop the violence is going to get us nowhere.
21:38 November 25, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
Sexual abuse of female and male children is also widespread in other Western countries.

Thus the Northern Territory, Australia, "Little Children Are Sacred" Report (p57) states that ¦quot;it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory¦quot; but refers to studies in the USA indicating that 25% of females and 10% of males experience childhood sexual abuse (Finkelhor, D. (1994), "Current information on the scope and nature of child sexual abuse¦quot;) and that in Australia 34% of females and 16% of males experienced non-penetrative abuse with 12% females and 4% of males reporting penetrative child sexual abuse (Dunne, M.P., Purdie, D.M., Cook, M.D., Boyle, F.M. & Najman, J.M.(2003), "Is child sexual abuse declining? Evidence from a population-based survey of men and women in Australia").

There urgently need to be education and reporting processes in place to minimize this shockingly high frequency abuse of children and of women around the world.
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