Ensure justice for disabled victims of abuse
Not a single differently-abled female victim of physical or sexual assault has received justice as of now, in absence of proper infrastructure and legal framework, according to a rights organisation.
Ninety-six percent women having one or multiple disabilities are subject to physical, psychological and sexual abuse, and 86 percent of them do not seek justice due to barriers in every step of the legal system, said Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club on Sunday.
They are easy prey to perpetrators due to their inability to resist attacks, and for the same reason 18 percent of the victims suffers repeated incidents of torture, the WDDF said in a press release, referring to findings of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust.
The handful of those, who get into legal battle against their abusers, end up facing an adverse situation at police stations and courts.
Even the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act does not provide any defined action plan to ensure justice to those with disabilities, said Ashrafun Nahar Misti, executive director of WDDF, at the conference on how to make the legal system accessible for girls and women with disabilities.
Police stations and courts do not have any mechanism in place to receive complaints from those with hearing and speech impairments, she said, demanding that persons having expertise in sign language be deployed there.
Regarding budgetary allocations for girls and women with disabilities, Shirin Akhter, chairman of the rights organisation, said the government allocated funds for them only under social safety net programmes and for stipends under educational programmes. However, there should be separate funds for them in every area, including communication and transport.