This article explores attacks by neighbours and/or members of local communities on women with disability as a form of hate crime and, more specifically, targeted violence. We draw on interviews conducted in 2017 with women with disability living in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. These women spoke about ongoing experiences of physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial violence perpetrated by members of their local communities. They stressed the severity of this violence, the impact on their security and feelings of safety, and barriers to accessing justice. These women faced both disbelief and police indifference after reporting. Their experiences convey how they met with prejudice that casts the lives of people with disability as less worthy, and the effects of a hatred/vulnerability dichotomy that ultimately limits adequate responses. In the absence of a shared understanding of these crimes, disablist norms prevail, exposing women to ongoing violence and limiting access to justice.
- Hate crime
- Neighbours and community members
- Targeted violence
- Women with disability