13th of August 2020

Sexual harassment and violence are widespread. Some groups are more vulnerable towards it than others, although I have noticed that in the case of disabled people the focus is often directed towards cases of people without disability violating people with disability. This is not uncommon, but it tends to be forgotten that violence also exists within these groups as violence thrives within segregation.

It has been shown that disabled women are way more likely to be the victims of violence than non-disabled women, as this is a very vulnerable group.

I myself have an integrated vision- and hearing impairment and a mobility impairment and thus I belong to a very marginalized group. I have had various uncomfortable experiences throughout my life as well as having experienced my girlfriends being subjected to harassment and violence. However, I did not pay much attention to who the perpetrators were. Perhaps I thought that they were usually non-disabled men, as I had witnessed their conduct many times and encountered plenty of unpleasant incidents myself. It was therefor not until I was working on my BS thesis in business studies that I paused and rethought the matter.

I was writing about sign language interpreting services in Iceland and during my research I unexpectedly came across a book chapter on violence against deaf people in the old Heyrnarleysingjaskólinn (e. School for the Deaf). The chapter content was completely unrelated to the subject of my thesis, but I found it so interesting that I decided to take a little look into it.

It said that a number of cases of violence had arisen against the school’s students and stated that the majority of the perpetrators were deaf themselves.

I was shocked by this chapter as until then I had somehow assumed that the perpetrators had been in the dominant position of being non-disabled. It seemed as no one wanted to mention this as a possibility, that the perpetrator could also be disabled. That seems to be a taboo.


As I looked into this chapter of the book I was reminded of a story I was told by a deaf elementary school teacher. We had been learning about what rape was and the teacher then mentioned that two deaf women had come forward and accused a deaf man of rape. The case was dropped, but I remember well what the teacher said about that case: “Poor man, they ruined his reputation.”I may have been too young to understand this then, but when I think back I realize that the teacher was slut shaming the victims.

Slut shame clearly works across groups and communities.



After I looked into this better, I realized something else that had passed me by. At the events I have attended where people with disabilities are present, such as conferences and summer camps, I have never been informed of any contingency plans for sexual harassment and violence.

This says a lot as I have attended a number of such events over the years. It is crucial to go in detail through contingency plans in case of fire on the spot, but violence is hardly ever mentioned, even if dozens of people are attending the event. Event organizers may not think that such issues could arise, or maybe sexual violence is simply a taboo within the marginalized group. This occurred to me when I remembered a conference I had attended recently where such issues arose. There was no contingency plan and the perpetrator was allowed to walk free during the event and harass more women. I found this very strange, as the group of attendees consisted of very diverse people and some were particularly vulnerable.

After this unpleasant experience I decided to be vigilant about processes around sexual offenses at all the events I attend, as I could have easily been the victim of the violence at the conference I mentioned earlier.

It does not matter what kind of event it is or who is involved, violence can take place anywhere and anytime and the perpetrators are diverse.

We need to start talking about the diversity of perpetrators, perpetrators being disabled does not justify their actions and should not be a taboo.













— — —


Styrkir þú Vía?

Vía treystir á þitt framlag. Með því að styrkja Vía tekur þú þátt í að halda uppi miðli sem lætur sig jafnrétti og fjölbreytileika varða.

Vía, áður þekkt sem Flóra útgáfa, hefur verið starfandi í 3 ár fyrir gagnrýna lesendur sem langar að kafa undir yfirborðið á marghliða samfélagsumræðu út frá jafnréttissjónarmiðum. Vía hefur frá upphafi fjallað um aðkallandi málefni líðandi stundar og birt fjölda einstakra pistla sem hafa varpað ljósi á ójöfnuð, ójafnrétti, fordóma, íhaldssemi og ofbeldi sem finna má á öllum stigum samfélagsins. Við leggjum áherslu á að upphefja frásagnir þeirra einstaklinga sem valdakerfi fara hvað verst með og valdefla raddir fólks með lifaða reynslu.

Hvert einasta framlag, stórt eða lítið, gerir okkur kleift að halda uppi gagnrýnni jafnréttisumræðu og er ómissandi fyrir áframhaldandi starf Vía.


Styrkja Vía


** Kíktu við á Uppskeru, listamarkaðinn okkar **
















fyrri grein:
It is Not Enough to Fight for Partial Equality

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Stereotypes


Read more about...

All articles in volume 7 — Slut Walk 2020
Resilient
Alda Lilja
13th of august 2020

Art / Culture English Mental health Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Gender based violence: Men Have Power
Derek T. Allen
13th of August 2020

English Sexism Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
White feminism: Wall of dominance
Sara Mansour
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English Racism Refugees Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Stereotypes
Díana Katrín Þorsteinsdóttir
13th of august 2020

English Microaggression Racial Stereotypes Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Perpetrators are Diverse
Áslaug Ýr Hjartardóttir
13th of August 2020

Ableism English Sexual Violence Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Slutshame Volume Article
It is Not Enough to Fight for Partial Equality
Steinunn Ólína Hafliðadóttir
13th of august 2020

Ableism English Interview Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Sexual violence: My Right to Exist
Inga Hrönn Sigrúnardóttir
13th of august 2020

Homelessness Marginalization Sexism Sexual Violence Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Sexual violence -A Day in the Life of a Woman-
Herdís Hlíf Þorvaldsdóttir
13th of August 2020

English Sexism Sexual Violence Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume
Exotic dancing: Your Own Sexual Expression
Carmen og Neyta
13th of august 2020

English Sex work Sexism Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
How Does One Become Vulnerable? The Multiple Vulnerabilities and Types of Abuse Women of Multi-Ethnic Origins Experience in Iceland
Nichole Leigh Mosty
13th of august 2020

Racism Sexism Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article Women of foreign origin
White feminism – Why You Aren’t an Activist: From an Icelandic Woman who “Doesn’t Look Like” an Icelandic Woman
Nadine Gaurino
13th of august 2020

English Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article White feminism
Donna Cruz: A Letter to 16 year old Me
Donna Cruz
13th of august 2020

Art / Culture English Self love Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Welcome to The Slut Choir
Brynhildur Yrsa Valkyrja
13th of august 2020

Art / Culture English Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
Rape Culture and The Social Pecking Order
Steinunn Radha
13th of august 2020

English Racism Sexism Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
The Politics of Self Love
Embla Guðrúnar Ágústsdóttir
13th of august 2020

Ableism English Queer / LGBTQIA+ Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article
No One Would Rape a Fat Woman
Tara Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir
13th of august 2020

Fatness Sexism Slut Walk 2021 - 7th volume Volume Article




Perpetrators are Diverse