Disabled people are the world’s largest minority. The United Nations estimates that over a billion people live with some form of disability and they are disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest and at greater risk of suffering from violence, disaster, poverty, and many other hardships. (United Nations)
People with developmental disabilities have among the highest rates of physical, sexual and emotional violence perpetrated by intimate partners and family members. Disabled individuals are at greater risk of severe physical and sexual violence than non-disabled persons, and many disabled victims of violence experience multiple assaults. Domestic abuse victims with disabilities are often more dependent on their caretakers than victims without disabilities, and face many barriers to reporting abuse and seeking services. Victims who do report abuse or seek services often do not find adequate help, since many programs that serve domestic violence victims are not equipped or trained to offer proper care to disabled victims. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).
In 2022, End Abuse launched Spotlight, an annual publication exploring pathways to ending violence. The very first edition explored Disability Justice, in which we compiled resources, delved into the 10 Principles of Disability Justice, and – importantly – asked ourselves, as a coalition, how we were (and weren’t!) actively embodying disability justice in our everyday work. View this edition of Spotlight here.
During Disability Pride Month (July) 2023, we committed to a deeper and more actionable approach to disability justice by developing a year-long awareness campaign that offers concepts and tips to those in antiviolence work who want to deepen their understanding and actionable work towards a disability justice vision and practice. We offer this effort to member programs and beyond, to support tangible change alongside shifts in our collective worldview to more meaningfully center those most impacted by all forms of oppression.