FORGOTTEN SISTERS – A REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES: AN OVERVIEW OF ITS NATURE, SCOPE, CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
The forms of violence to which women and girls with disabilities are subjected are varied. They include physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence, neglect, social isolation, entrapment, degradation, detention, denial of health care and forced sterilization and psychiatric treatment, among others.
Women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience domestic violence and other forms of gender-based and sexual violence as non-disabled women, and are likely to experience abuse over a longer period of time and to suffer more severe injuries as a result of the violence. Their abuser may also be their caregiver, someone that the individual is reliant on for personal care or mobility, frequently they do not report the violence, institutions of the justice system are often physically inaccessible and do not provide reasonable accommodation, they often lack access to legal protection and representation, law enforcement officials and the legal community are ill-equipped to address the violence, their testimony is often not viewed as credible by the justice system and they are not privy to the same information available to non-disabled women.