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2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
8 July 2010

Rape is a violation of a woman’s human rights.

Violence against women is difficult for any woman to experience, for a Deaf woman there are things that can make it extra hard to gain support, such as confidentiality, being part of a small community, lack of understanding and access issues.

The aftermath of rape can also be particularly traumatic for women who are black, lesbian, bi or transgender. The issues are compounded and are less likely to be addressed. They face major barriers when claiming benefits through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Reports are filtering through from constabularies that victims also face mental health issues after their ordeal. This can include issues such as post traumatic stress disorder, which prevents victims from being able to interact with men, strangers and work colleagues.

Confidentiality is also a major issue of concern in regard to sustaining benefits without disclosing what has happened to the individual i.e. rape.

The DWP have no provision to deal with people who have mental health issues arising from rape or other forms of sexual abuse, which may be a breach of the Disability Equality Duty (DED)/Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

We call upon the National Disabled Members Committee to liaise with the National Executive Committee and Labour Link to ensure that the DWP complies with DED under the DDA.