Disability, Hate Crime and Violence

Disability, Hate Crime and Violence

Disability, Hate Crime and Violence

Disability, Hate Crime and Violence


This book provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of disability, hate crime and violence, exploring its emergence on the policy agenda. Engaging with the latest debates in criminology, disability and violence studies, it goes beyond conventional notions of hate crime to look at violences in their myriad forms as they are seen to impact upon disabled people's lives.

Despite a raft of relevant policy and legislation, few have attempted to draw together research on the disabled as victims of hate crime and violence. This innovative volume conceptualizes issues of disability, hate crime and violence and connects empirical research with theoretical insights. Making links between criminal justice policy, social care and welfare, it highlights areas of best practice and makes suggestions for policy and legislative reform. Disability, Hate Crime and Violenceis written in accessible language, with minimal jargon and an international focus. Each chapter is grounded in research and practice, with relevant policy and legislation clearly signposted throughout.

Disability, Hate Crime and Violenceprovides a much needed theoretical and practical investigation of the key issues around disabled hate crime and violence. It is an important work for students and academics researching and studying in disability studies, criminology, social policy and sociology, as well as those with an interest in domestic violence studies and broader historical and philosophical constructions of disability, violence and social harms.


Half a century old, the Holocaust still mocks the idea of civilization and
threatens our sense of ourselves as spiritual creatures. Its undiminished impact
on human memory leaves wide open the unsettled and unsettling question of
why this should be so.

(Langer, 1994: 184)

Introduction and aims

The question of disability, hate crime and violence has received little concerted attention in academic, policy and practice activity to date. The small quantity of work that has been completed has been largely in North America and often linked to wider oppressions – race, gender, sexual orientation. These intersectional issues are very important and this collection of works will continue in this tradition of acknowledging the multiple motivations to harm others based on their perceived difference. The advent of a collected edition that aims to bring together international perspectives, which foregrounds disability and which looks at issues and solutions to disablist hate crime, is therefore well overdue. The book aims to add to criminology, disability studies, sociology and policy studies in pulling together work from a range of disciplines and perspectives. A key message of the book is that there is no ‘one best way’ to reduce disablist hate crime. Education, self-empowerment, effective public protection, publicity campaigns, a responsive, timely and culturally sensitive criminal justice system are all important weapons in the fight against categorical, targeted crimes.

All crimes have victims and wider social costs; the authors of this collection share a philosophical view, however, that harming individuals simply because they belong to a socially stigmatised ‘category’ is especially heinous.

The book limits itself to hate crimes that are targeted at disabled people – which includes people with learning difficulties, manifest/known-about mental health problems, physical impairment and social learning difficulty (for example Asperger’s/Autism). As stated above, writers do however draw down parallels with race, LGBT and gender hate crimes (Dunbar, E, 2006; Herek and Gillis, 1999; Iganski, 1999). Power relations in domestic violence are also . . .

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