Abuse on a large scale is not just happening behind closed doors as in the recent exposure at Winterbourne but in the community - on the streets - in public – by the public. Disability Hate Crime.
I did not realise that people calling C names or expressing hateful opinions about C is verbal abuse – and is a Hate Crime . Over the years I have accepted the staring, muttering, making comments as part of C’s life. Not only did I accept it but I expect it every time I take C out. It is part of our lives that I have had to get used to so it doesn’t get to me. Thankfully C is oblivious to it (as far as I can tell)
This is the type of prejudice that inspired me to write my rap – if C could speak.
C’s invisible disability is very visible! And there have been times I’ve felt harassed and in danger.
I recently had some training in Disability Hate Crime which touched on genocide . And with Panorama still fresh in my mind I have decided no more! The kids/adults muttering abuse – calling C names (and we live in a respectable area) have been getting away with it as I have been ignoring it I now realise could be the predatory corrupt caregivers - the emotional and physical abusers of tomorrow.
Disability hate crime is a direct attack on a person's identity and an infringement of their human rights, perceived by the person or any other person. It doesn’t matter that the person doesn’t understand it.
There have many headlines over the years of the failure of the police, prosecutors and some care organisations to take Disability Hate Crime seriously. Fiona Pilkington being a very high profile case – after it was too late. A mother who killed herself and her daughter because no one listened.
Unless we as a society recognise what disability hate crime is and start reporting it nothing will change.
I reported my first Hate Crime last week and was impressed with how the local police dealt with it. They couldn’t follow it up but it has been added to the statistics – I’m sure I will be adding many more.
By reporting this will help the police get a better idea of the level of hate crime in your local area and improve the way Police respond to it and could prevent escalation of seriousness. More funding and resources maybe allocated.