Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Disturbing Read

Women are not raped because they are women. Women are raped because there are rapists.

Children are not abused because they are children. Children are abused because there are abusers.

People with disabilities are not victimized because they have disabilities. People with disabilities are victimized because there are victimizers.

Feminist women worked hard towards the concept of blaming the perpetrator rather than blaming the victim. This concept is hard won even those it's truth is obvious. One of the interesting facts about abuse is best learned from the following question: What is the single greatest predictor that you will be sexually victimized?

You. Not people with disabilities, not that woman over there, not that kid down the street ... You. What is the single most important factor that raises your likelihood of abuse? Of course, you know it isn't your clothing, it isn't time of day, it isn't deportment.

What is it?

Nearness to a perpetrator.

Often when I do presentations regarding the victimization of people with disabilities I get disbelieving looks. Looks that say 'who would want to sexually victimize them?' Talk about disbelief mixed with extreme prejudice!

Well, there is an article I'd like you to read, it was published a few days ago by a friend of mine, Dr. Dick Sobsey ... and I ask you to take the time and head over and read about real world dangers for people with disabilities ...

You will find the article here.


Kate said...

There are just too many grey areas in the whole debate about how much to restrict sex offenders or other so named dangerous peoople's rights or abilities to live in places with vulnerable populations.
If it was easy to always tell who the bad guys were and who the good guys were that would be one thing.
And if you take it on a case by case basis there are some people who obviously very restrictive laws should be applied to.
But you have to make the same laws apply to everyone.
And in doing so you run the risk of applying draconian laws to people injustly accused of crimes, people who have done compatively minor crimes, and people who did a crime years ago but have truly reformed and should be given the chance for a second start in life.
If you don't give offenders the chance for a new start they will have no motivation to reform.
Vulnerable populations need to be protected, but it doesn't seem like we have good enough laws to do so, or that we will, because as I said, there are just too many grey areas.
I hope I got this right and am talking about the same thing you are - I think so but I had to read the article somewhat quickly.

It is certainly disturbing when the disabled are preyed on. But what we can do beforehand to prevent it, I'm not sure.

By the way, your SpellCheck Team has arrived for the night and is reporting for duty. You spelled Disturbing wrong in the title, might want to change it before people wake up and see it. :)

Sure is fun to be a 2am reader.

Have a good day -

CJ said...

"What is the single greatest predictor that you will be sexually victimized?"

My first thought? Opportunity.


Please lock up this guy for eternity.

This offender has had 38 times (that we know of) to make a choice on a new start.

By the way, my spouse is a correctional officer at a maximum security prison in California. I know what is in there.

FridaWrites said...

I've seen some people incredulous when I bring up that people with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence, robberies, etc., seeming to miss that criminals lack a sense of ethics.

They're opportunistic and go for vulnerable people or people they perceive to be vulnerable--they want to get away with the crime, not spend time in prison for it.

And when it comes to sexual violence, desirability doesn't motivate people to rape (though it's offensive people stereotype in that regard). A college friend's elderly grandmother was raped and killed by a much younger man. The criminal wasn't looking for a soul mate but someone to victimize.

Anonymous said...

In the article linked to today, the perp had 38 previous convictions many of which were for violent crimes. He is a threat to the whole human race, and what on earth is Canada's legal system like that he could continue to offend, be convicted and released so quickly?

Dave, I understand your point about the vulnerability of those with disabilities, but the case linked is a poor support for it. That perp is clearly a danger to everyone.

Feminist Avatar said...

The other thing that feminists having been banging on about for about quite some time is that sexual violence is not about sex or desire, it is about an exertion of power over another person. And, in many instances, abuse of people with disabilities is motivated by this exact same thing.

Kasie said...

Why would any judge in his right mind accept that plea? There would be no record of the violence against this woman? No mention that he targeted this woman because she is a vulnerable adult and because she has a disability. No acknowledgment on the perps part that he committed a violent act against another human being. A judge who accepts that plea has demonstrated that the crimes against this woman are less important than the crimes against her home and possessions.

Anonymous said...

You do put your finger on things! Nearness to a perpetrator. Yeah.

imfunnytoo said...

"Nearness to a perpetrator."

And if the perp is an institution worker where you're held, or you live alone and they're your PCA, or live with a family member who doubles as a perp....

The closer the orbit, the connection...not to say that PWD's don't get targeted by perps they've not seen or been near before...they do, but it's that position of power that makes it even more likely.

Ettina said...

Exactly. I was sexually abused because I lived in the same home as two kids who were willing to sexually abuse a child.