In the research Social Rights and Research Association (TOHAD) has carried out together with Open Society Institute/Assistance Foundation, 285,000 text and visual reports from the last five years on the national and local media have been monitored and leading court decisions have been examined.
As a result of the research, it was found out that 391 cases of violence against people with disabilities were covered by newspapers.
Half of the violence cases are sexual assault cases. While the most common form of assault people with mental disabilities were exposed to is sexual assault, people with orthopedic disabilities and visually challenged people are mostly exposed to physical and psychological violence. One third of the victims are children. The perpetrators in most cases are people familiar to the victims such as family members, neighbours or relatives as well as public servants. One third of the assaults are systematic.
The fact that most of the assaults come from family members, neighbours, relatives or public servants, prevent that the assault cases come to light. In most cases, the assaults can only become known when a woman with disabilities becomes pregnant or the assault a man with disabilities was exposed to leaves a mark of the trauma.
President of TOHAD Süleyman Akbulut states that the research report is only the tip of the iceberg.
"The state should intervene in this situation in two steps. First by protection-prevention and second by disclosure. For protection-prevention, it is crucial that the person with disability is trained about the situation. Their families should also be educated regarding the risks. Observation and monitoring by the state is vital because the state comes into contact with people with disabilities on many occasions: Through social aid, hospitals, schools and rehabilitation centers for instance. Public servants should be trained for such cases and should always be on alert". (NV/DG)
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