How hard to write about something so brutal and horrific.
Whenever I am confronted with a news item about this I get upset and angry in equal amounts and it’s not just because my son has a disability. I am absolutely shocked that this kind of crime and abuse is tolerated.
From the teacher who allows a bit of teasing (bullying) beacuse someone is different to the other kids to the gangs who terrorise people in their homes and in the streets right up to the murders and cruel torture experienced by some people – this is all part of the same societal sickness.
Why aren’t we more ashamed about this?
There is no shortage of incidents to raise the profile of this type of crime – see this hate crime dossier on the diability now website – http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/the-hate-crime-dossier
Some of these crimes are committed by ‘fiends’ and ‘family’!! But the most annoying part of this is the lack of condemnation and the fact that people know they can attack a sector of society and get away with it. I am hesistating to use the word vulnerable because this is not about that – it is about ignorance and fear of difference. It is about attacking the weak because it’s easy.
My son is too afraid to go outside now on his own but one day he will probably have to face this world alone. In the last week I read a terrible story on the National Autistic Society website, who have set up a petition to the Attorney General about ineffective sentencing for perpetrators of disability hate crime. I also watched a programme called Tormeneted Lives on BBC iplayer made by Rosa Monkton which shows the impact of this kind of behaviour on disabled people. She states that this year there have already been 21 murders of disabled people!!
There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we respond to disability in this country. From the mild embarrassment that makes people ignore someone with a visually obvious disability to the violent abuse and murder of someone because they are different.
We are all a part of this.
This is an education issue, a civil and social issue and a political issue. We need to stop this happening.
At the very least please sign the NAS petition mentioned above but we must not ignore this issue – that would help to condone it.