Home Charities Disabled people subjected to a rising torrent of online abuse, says charity

Disabled people subjected to a rising torrent of online abuse, says charity

Must Read

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

A homeless person dies every 19 hours in austerity Britain

Services are failing to protect homelessness people, say campaigners.

One in four households facing homelessness are already in work

Campaigners calls for the reversal of social security benefit cuts.

New DWP Secretary called for ‘tax on pensioners’

Tories can't be trusted on pensions, says SNP MP.

Campaigners have warned that new figures showing a record increase in online disability hate crimes could be just the “tip of the iceberg”, as they called on government and social media companies to do more to protect disabled people online.

Figures obtained by the charity Leonard Cheshire show a 33% rise in the number of reported instances of online disability hate crimes between 2016/17 and 2017/18, increasing from 263 to 313.

However, the figures also show that some regions have an even larger issue. For example, Suffolk saw a rise in the number of reported incidents increase from two to twenty, while incidents in Norfolk jumped from four to twenty-three.



Photo: Paula Peters

The charity said that while this surge in incidents could be explained by more disabled people coming forward to report hate and abuse, many more incidents remain unreported.

Neil Heslop, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Police are increasingly recording online offences, but we know it remains an underreported area and that disabled people may have reservations about speaking out.

“We suspect many crimes remain under the radar, with survivors never getting support and perpetrators facing no consequences.

“These offences can have a devastating impact on the lives of survivors. We know from our work with disabled people that hate crime causes long-term fear, anxiety and in some cases, isolation.”

Terence McCorry, Leonard Cheshire disability hate crime advocate, added: “They may not think the incident is worth bothering police for or they may have had a bad experience reporting issues in the past.

“They may lack confidence in speaking out and traditional reporting methods, such as the phone, may not be accessible for their disability.”

The charity is calling on government and social media companies to work alongside disabled people to develop an effective strategy to combat online hate and abuse.



photo credit: dominikgolenia via photopin cc

A Home Office spokesperson said the government is “committed to tackling hate crime in all of its forms”, and this includes “abuse targeting disabled people”.

They continued: “The government works closely with stakeholders to tackle disability hate crime, including funding community-led projects, developing CPS guidance for disabled victims and witnesses as well as our public awareness campaign which included specific material making clear that disability hate crime is unacceptable.

“Last month the Government published the Online Harms White Paper, which will introduce a statutory duty of care to make companies take responsibility for the safety of their users, enforced by an independent regulator. This will include hate crime content.”

Support Us!

Please support our work in highlighting the struggles faced by poor and vulnerable people in the UK with a small donation. Please only give as much as you can afford.

FOLLOW US

16,633FansLike
9,359FollowersFollow

Latest News

One in four households facing homelessness are already in work

Campaigners calls for the reversal of social security benefit cuts.

‘Shocking’ impact of UK welfare cuts revealed

Impact of Tory welfare cuts on Scottish households laid bare in damning new report.

Unpaid carers unable to see a doctor because they can’t get a break from caring

Charity calls for better support for unpaid carers to enable them to take breaks from caring.

Homelessness in England soars 11% as campaigners demand £12.8bn every year for social housing

Campaigners blame a national shortage in homes for social rent and cuts to social security benefits.

130,000 families forced to live in one-bed flats, research shows

National Housing Federation calls for a £12.8bn investment in social housing.

DON'T MISS