Twenty-two years ago today, a gunman entered a university in Montreal and killed 14 women – simply because they were women.
During this same 20 years, over 700 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered across Canada.
In Canada there are approximately 1,900,000 women aged 15 and over who have
disabilities. It is estimated that approximately 40% of these women with disabilities will
be assaulted, sexually assaulted or abused throughout their lifetime.
Depending on whether they reside within an institutional or community setting, women
with disabilities are 1.5 to 10 times more likely to be victimized than women who are not
Approximately 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually abused in their lifetime.
The rate of sexual abuse of girls with disabilities is four times greater than the national
average. Approximately 40% to 70% of girls with intellectual disabilities will be sexually victimized before the age of 18.
It is estimated that only 20% of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated against women with
disabilities are ever reported to the police, community service agencies, or other
Women with disabilities most frequently experience victimization from an intimate
partner or spouse, family member or caregiver.
Women with disabilities are often more vulnerable to abuse than women without
disabilities for the following reasons:
- Dependence upon a caregiver;
- Lack of access to support services;
- Due to mobility, cognitive or communication impairments unable flee or call for aid;
- Low self-esteem stemming from societal myth and social attitudes.
But let us also remember there is hope…