The Guardian earlier this year highlighted the concerns expressed by six leading disability charities about the increase in abuse. They lay the blame on MPs who are fuelling this public misconception of people being ‘disability scroungers’. Whilst that the message coming from MPs is patently untrue, we wonder if people in Shropshire have noticed any increase in abuse or criticism by the public. Please let us know if you have experienced anything which concerns you. We are in contact with the Disability Hate Crime Officer for Shropshire, who wants to hear from you – it’s the only way they can help. If you suffer abuse or neglect you might find these contacts useful: Shropshire Disability Hate Crime Helpline:01952 214637. Here’s just part of the Guardian news story: “The Government’s focus on alleged fraud and overclaiming to justify cuts in disability benefits has caused an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people, as they find themselves being labelled scroungers, six of the country’s biggest disability groups have warned. While the charities speaking out –Scope, Mencap,Leonard Cheshire Disability, the National Autistic Society, RNIB and Disability Alliance – say inflammatory media coverage has played a role in this, they primarily blame ministers and civil servants for repeatedly highlighting the supposed mass abuse of the disability benefits system, much of which is unfounded. At the same time, they say, the focus on “fairness for taxpayers” has fostered the notion that disabled people are a separate group who don’t contribute. Scope’s regular polling of people with disabilities shows two-thirds saying they had experienced recent hostility or taunts.
Abuse of people with Disabilities
Some leading charities say they are now regularly contacted by people who have been taunted on the street about supposedly faking their disability and are concerned that the climate of suspicion could spill over into violence or other hate crimes.