‘I can’t forget’: experiences of violence and disclosure in the childhoods of disabled women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leeds


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.

Bibliographic note

Shah, S., Tsitsou, L., & Woodin, S. (2016). ‘I can’t forget’: Experiences of violence and disclosure in the childhoods of disabled women. Childhood, 23(4), 521–536. https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568215626781


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-536
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • childhood, disablism, disclosure, life history, violence, women