March 15, 2018

Violent victimization of women with disabilities


Sarah Jama, a disability justice activist (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)


This report (PDF), released today by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, on the violent victimization of women with disabilities is proof positive that women with disabilities need to be not only #MoreThanAFootnoteWWD in policy and services but central.

On every front, women with disabilities experience higher levels of violence and victimization. To name only a few:

  • Women with disabilities are more likely to experience childhood sexual abuse: "One in five (18%) women with a disability were touched in a sexual way by an adult before the age of 15, a proportion that was double that of women without a disability (9%).
  • In 45% of all incidents of violent crime, including sexual assault, robbery, or physical assault, the victims were women with disabilities, according to the General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization).
  • Women with disabilities are more likely to experience intimate partner violence: "23% of women with a disability experienced emotional, financial, physical or sexual violence or abuse committed by a current or former partner in the past 5 years..." roughly 2 times higher than non-disabled women
  • The rate of violent victimization among women with a mental health-related disability or with a cognitive disability was 4 times higher compared to those without a disability.

Here is how media covered this story:

CTV News

Calgary Herald

National Post