DAA News Network

Australia: Disability hate crime common and largely hidden

Posted 12/8-10 at 18.52

Research by visiting US academic, Dr Mark Sherry, shows how thousands of Australians experience disability hate crimes each year. However, the lack of legal recognition of disability hate crime means it is often characterised as abuse and penalised lightly.

For example, a disabled couple, both wheelchair users, recounted how they would find abusive notes in their mailbox and got comments from neighbours that they had driven down house values. Their complaints to the authorities were ignored.

Sherry concludes that Australia must follow the lead of the US and others and legally recognise disability hate crime so that it attracts higher penalties, and then efforts can be made to tackle the problem.




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