Disability abuse is when a person becomes a victim of abuse because they have a disability.
Victimization can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological or emotional abuse, and neglect. Because abuse is about power and control, people with disabilities may face unique challenges and barriers to accessing support.
Current knowledge about victimisation of persons with disabilities is based on a small number of studies, and little is known about victimisation of specific groups such as persons with traumatic brain injury.
While anyone can experience violence, abuse or neglect, people with disabilities are at greater risk.
The latest 2021 published NZCASS results give us the following insight into the prevalence of family violence where the victim has a disability:
"The results reveal that if the adult population with disability had the same age structure as the general adult population, 6.5% would have been victims of offences by family members in the previous12 months. This was significantly higher than the national average of 2.2%. On the other hand, if people without disability had the same age structure as the general adult population, 2.1% would have been victims of offences by family members in the previous12 months. This was not significantly different from the national average of 2.2%."
The Family Violence Act 2018 includes caregivers as potential abusers, provides for prison terms of up to ten years for perpetrators, and lists some forms of violence specific to disabled people.
It's pretty shocking that in New Zealand, a web search for assistance for disabled people who are being abused will return no targeted results.,
You can however contact Police in an emergency by calling 111, or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for nearby support services who may be able to help you.