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Journal Article


Neille J, Penn C. J. Interpers. Violence 2017; 32(18): 2837-2861.


University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


(Copyright © 2017, SAGE Publishing)






People with disabilities are vulnerable to multiple forms of violence in their everyday lives, including structural violence, deprivation, and physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation. Despite increasing reports of violence against people with disabilities, little is known about this phenomenon, especially in the context of poverty. Furthermore, the various types of violence have traditionally been studied in isolation, which has led to a limited understanding of the nature and persistence of violence in society, and has affected our understanding of the relationship between different forms of violence. In this article, we explore the relationship between violence, disability, and poverty among people living in a rural area of South Africa. Thirty adults with a variety of disabilities living in 12 rural villages in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa participated in the study. Each of the participants was provided with an opportunity to tell their life story. Narrative inquiry and participant observation were used to explore the ways in which violence pervades the participants' everyday experiences.

RESULTS were analyzed using thematic analysis and suggest that in the context of poverty, it is impossible to separate the experience of disability from the experience of violence. Structural violence was shown to underpin all other forms of interpersonal violence, making persons with disabilities vulnerable to additional forms of exploitation, and serve to further isolate people with disabilities from society, compromising both health and human rights. The findings suggest that an understanding of contextual factors is fundamental to understanding the relationship between violence and disability.

Language: en


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