Purpose - This paper aims to discuss the sensible management of risk for disabled people, which can turn into disproportionate steps to attempt to completely eliminate risk, leading to diminished opportunities across life. Instincts to protect are heightened in the context of disabled people as potential victims of targeted violence and hostility. Individual-, organisational- and systemic-level responses can often be orientated towards protection and/or the minimisation of risk rather than towards providing access to justice and effective redress. Design/methodology/approach - This paper draws on evidence generated through a literature review, interviews with disabled people and interviews with representatives from a number of key organisations. Findings - For many disabled people, incidents can be persistent and ongoing. Common responses by disabled victims include avoidance and/or acceptance strategies. They are also advised by those around them and by agency staff they come in contact with to ignore perpetrators or to avoid putting themselves at risk. Criminal justice agencies may be more concerned about a victim's disability than about taking action to provide access to justice and effective redress. The protectionistic approach underpinning much of policy, legislation and guidance can be at odds with the positive promotion of disability equality. Originality/value - The paper examines the need to move away from a protectionist paradigm to a rights-based paradigm. It calls for a more inclusive approach where disabled people are involved meaningfully in the process of risk management and in other decisions around combating targeted violence and hostility against them.
The Journal of Adult Protection – Pier Professional
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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