Violence and Harassment

This page features disability news on Violence and Harassment from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.


Global estimates of violence against children with disabilities: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. “This review shows that children with disabilities experience a high burden of all forms of violence, despite advances in awareness and policy in the past 10 years.” (Mar, Lancet Child & Adolescent Health) See also coverage on Disability Insider: “1 in 3 children with disabilities globally have experienced violence in their lifetimes”. And on NPR.

Report on Harmful practices and hate crimes targeting persons with albinism. in a statement on the report, the Special Rapporteur said:

“For many persons with albinism, this is what their day-to-day realities entail – experiences of ostracism, rejection and the debilitating fear of being abducted or attacked on their way to school, work or home.” (Mar, OHCHR)

Rising Flame's From the Shadows to the Centre important collection of testimonies from women with disabilities. (link to pdf, Feb, Rising Flame)

The 1st of March is Disability Day of Mourning remembering people with disabilities who were victims of filicide (killed by their parents).

'When we say “filicide,” we are talking about a pattern of violence that starts when a parent or caregiver murders their child or adult relative with a disability and continues in how these murders are reported, discussed, justified, excused, and replicated.' (March, Disability Memorial)


Uncovering our Hidden Shame: Addressing Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks. Reports of ritual attacks against children with disabilities in eleven countries, and on children with albinism in five. Some reports from Benin suggest that midwives may kill new-born children with disabilities without informing the mothers.

“Children with disabilities and children with albinism in particular may be accused of witchcraft based on the circumstances of their birth or their congenital deformities, or the way they look or talk. Ritual attacks against children with albinism are also driven by myths, and the false belief that their body parts can be sold for money. ” (Jun, African Child Policy Forum) See also coverage on the Guardian.

Intersections between disability, masculinities, and violence: experiences and insights from men with physical disabilities from Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. The article shares many fascinating quotes, and concludes, comparing with the situation of women with disabilities:

“men with disabilities report threats, verbal and physical abuse by people outside their household and emotional abuse within their households and not the same level of sexual and intimate partner violence as women with disabilities have reported in similar studies”. (Apr, BMC Public Health)


Australia’s disability royal commission has faced near media silence – and left politicians unaccountable. (Dec, the Guardian)

‘They yell at you’: woman with dwarfism reveals ‘deeply offensive’ abuse received in public. (Oct, the Guardian)

‘Devastating’: woman with a disability met with disbelief after sexual assault, royal commission hears. (Mar, the Guardian)

Changing the landscape: a national resource to prevent violence against women and girls with disabilities (Feb, Our Watch)

Czech Republic

Czech courts are lenient towards sexual violence against people with intellectual disabilities. (In Czech, Mar, CT24)


Why it is hard for disabled women, queer persons to leave abusive partners. (Aug, The News Minute)

Deaf man fatally stabbed for not responding to teen’s honking say Indian Police. (Jul, Limpling Chicken)

Disability, Gender, Violence, Home and the City 'Nidhi Goyal takes us beyond keywords' with interesting reflections on a range of subjects, illustrated with concrete examples, from her experience of the city, the relations between access and safety, and the home itself:

  • "To access a city space, I invite someone in my physical space, and allow them to touch me. [...] I disconnect my arms from my body, because I have to offer my arm to every stranger I meet."
  • How disability shows us new forms of exclusion and violence, whether a family not speaking in sign language, or "for a disabled women, domestic violence is not giving her medications on time, putting away her assistive device where she cannot reach by herself, without asking her."
  • Whether this is about getting dressed, whether to go out: "We don't consider that taking consent from a disabled woman is required at all." (Dec, Third Eye Portal)


Understanding Gender-Based Violence Service Barriers to Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Iraq. (Jan, Heartland Alliance) See also the blog on inclusive research methodologies.


Forced to Beg: a video feature on disabled children trafficked from Tanzania and made to beg in Kenya. One of the alleged ringleaders is a disabled guy himself. Distressing images. (Jun, BBC)


High Toll of Violence For Women With Disabilities, according to a new survey. (Sep, Human Rights Watch)

Mother of Child with Autism Killed after Seeking Protection from Authorities. “Luz reported being threatened by a neighbor because he didn’t like the noises her son made during crises. She also said the neighbor had attacked her with industrial bleach.” (Jul, Human Rights Watch)


‘He Knew’: People With Disabilities Are More Vulnerable To Sexual Abuse. A story of Ifeoma and how the impacts “impacts of her encounter with an abuser are still visible in her life, decades after the incident took place.” (Feb, HumAngle)

Failure to Protect: Disabilities and Gender-Based Violence In Nigeria. (Nov, Minority Africa)

How organisations of persons with disabilities are keeping people safe. Among disability organizations ”there is limited understanding of key concepts of safeguarding, why they are important, and what needs to be in place to operationalise these concepts to keep people safe” (Mar, RSH)


Know your rights: Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (link to pdf, Feb, Women Enabled)


Disability and intimate partner violence: A cross-sectional study from Mwanza, Tanzania. (Nov, Disability and Health Journal)


Disability status, partner behavior, and the risk of sexual intimate partner violence: an analysis of the demographic and health survey data. (Oct, BMC Public Health)

United Kingdom

Kaylea Titford’s parents jailed for manslaughter after daughter died in ‘conditions unfit for any animal’. (Mar, the Guardian)

Formal support needs of disabled adult victim survivors of sexual violence. A qualitative research report. (Jan, Ministry of Justice)

United States

Police Brutality: A (Speech) Disability Concern. (Feb, Communication First)

Paralyzed by Gun Violence, They Seek Solace From Other Survivors. “In one city, a support group that includes people who spent time in the same trauma ward offers a way to cope.” (Jan, New York Times)

2022 Anti-Filicide Toolkit. Parents murdering their disabled children is reported in the media as "justifiable and inevitable" and this contributes to a cycle of violence. (March, Autistic Self Advocacy Network)


People with albinism struggling against stigma: risks of attacks, rape, trafficking and other discrimination. (Jun, News Day)