Violence against children is a human rights problem that cuts across gender, race, geographical, religious, socio-economic status and cultural boundaries. The risk of violence towards disabled children during their lifetime is three to four times greater than towards non-disabled children. It starts in early childhood, is more severe and linked to disablist structures in society. Violence is perpetrated by individuals and through institutional practices that are part of disabled children’s everyday life. Violence is often misdiagnosed as related to individual impairment, and not recognised by professionals or the victims themselves. Presenting disabled women’s reflections of childhood violence, help-seeking and responses to disclosure, this article seeks to raise an awareness of violence towards disabled girls and the need for these to be recognised as a serious child protection issue to be included in official definitions of child abuse.
- life history