Volume 3 Issue 5 - March 01, 2005

Study reveals domestic violence against disabled women in Orissa

DNIS News Network - A Swabhiman study reveals shocking abuse amongst disabled women.

Home is not the safest abode for over half the population of disabled women in Orissa. According to a study conducted by Swabhiman, an organisation working for the welfare of disabled people, over 20 per cent of mentally and physically challenged women in Orissa are raped by their own family members. More than 729 disabled women and girls, along with their family members, were interviewed in 12 districts of Orissa.

Dr Shruti Mohapatra, principal investigator in the study, said that disabled women were not only harassed at work and by strangers, but also by their family. Over 12.6 per cent physically disabled women said they had been raped and 15 per cent complained of being sexually harassed. This frequency was higher among the mentally challenged, where 25 per cent said they had been raped and 19 per cent complained of other forms of sexual harassment.

“Nearly 20 per cent physically challenged and 22 per cent mentally challenged women are forced into sex in their own families,” Mohapatra said. Of these, over 6 per cent were also forcibly sterilised by their families. Besides sexual torture, these women have to undergo physical abuse and isolation. Over 50 per cent of the women are beaten at home and not more than 40 per cent get three meals a day.

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