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Speakers Raise Awareness of Abuse Against People With Disabilities at University Event

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Children and adults with disabilities are at higher risk of abuse and violence against them, according to experts speaking at an event held at the University of Worcester.

The event exposed the issues faced by survivors of abuse and sexual violence and how people from different professions and agencies can support people with disabilities who may disclose abuse to them.

Ruth Jones, University of Worcester Lead for the ‘Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse’, said: “According to two systematic reviews published by the World Health Organisation, both children and adults with disabilities are at a much higher risk of violence than non-disabled people. The studies are the first to confirm the magnitude of the problem.

“Both Dr Ravi Thiara, senior lecturer at the University, and Gerard Lemos, leader of the research team at Lemos & Crane, have carried out further research on this subject in the UK. At the event they revealed the stark truth about people with learning disabilities and their experience of harassment and abuse.”

Dr.Ravi Thiara presented her findings from the first national study of domestic violence and disabled women with physical and sensory impairments.

Ruth Jones said: “She uncovered that the majority of disabled women said they experienced poor response rates from statutory services and problems with accessibility to refuges and out reach services. This lack of information and support for victims of domestic violence must change by training professionals across the board and improving awareness raising.”

The event is the third in a series of events of violence and abuse that are part of the development of the Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse at the University of Worcester.

Ruth added: “The events have been really successful and we will be planning further events to run in the next academic year.”

Anyone interested in future events or our work on the study and prevention of violence and abuse can contact Ruth Jones at r.jones@worc.ac.uk

For information on all courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk