Violence in Disability

There are many issues, topics and topical matters that are of interest to me. One of the ones that really gets my goat is that so many people feel sorry for people with a disability. I can understand if it is an acquired disability, such an accident of some sort for instance and especially in later life, that can be difficult, but I am talking about those born with a disability.

Violence is not a one-way street.

Firstly, stop feeling sorry for people who were born with a disability. They are not inspirational. They were born that way. They know no other way. That has been their life since birth. You, the general public, are the ones making a fool of yourselves. You see someone that you consider to be ‘different’ and so you over compensate and make them feel ‘different’.

I have worked in the disability industry for several years. Like anyone else within the community, there a good and bad people. Having a disability, does not automatically make them a ‘good’ person. In fact, some people with a disability, especially those that have an obvious disability, quite often will play on the fact that there will be no repercussions on their bad behavior. I will give you some examples. These are real-life examples from my own personal experience as well as a witness to various events.

Support workers are yelled at, spat at, kicked, punched, pushed, things thrown at us (all sorts of things), hair pulled, verbally threatened, physically threatened, physically choked, groped and verbally abused. There is also the verbal threat of physical harm to one’s family members as well as pets. There is the very forceful entry into the staff office. There is the purposely violent property damage carried as well as the threats of damaging staff’s personal vehicles. All this from one client alone! In a group home! This same client also carried out some of these same things on other residents of the group home. This was no considered to be a ‘behavioural’ house. This one particular resident would also walk to the nearby service station and shoplift from them. The staff at the service station witness this, on more than one occasion, the staff at the group home were made aware of it. No one would ever do anything about it because “he has a disability”.

Police had to be called out several times due to his violence. The police tried to have him assessed, only to be brought back to the group home, where not only, were staff afraid and weary of him, but some of the other residents were also.

Although staff would complain to management about the behavior, nothing was done for about five years. Why was nothing done, I hear you ask? Nothing was done because he was worth a lot of money based on funding from the government agency.

No other group home would have him. He had been through about 7 group homes in a space of about 4 years before landing in this particular group home. When he was finally moved on, he had issues maintaining a regular address.