Debra Ruh - CEO of Ruh Global Communications
Debra Ruh – CEO of Ruh Global Communications

According to the UN, violence against women has become a global epidemic.  There are many factors associated with the violence including cultural, religious, political and economic conditions.  According to the UN and WHO 1 in 3 women in the world have been beaten or raped.

The Daily News reported in August that two young women in Syria in two separate incidents were stoned and bludgeoned to death because of alleged adultery.

In May 2014, a pregnant woman in Pakistan was stoned to death by her relatives and spurned finance as a crowd watched.  USA Today notes that the Lahore Police charged the young woman’s father with murder.  The father told police that he killed his daughter because she had shamed the family.

An Iranian woman protesting over death by stoning in Brussels
An Iranian woman protesting over death by stoning in Brussels

These cases are not limited to only developing countries.  Violence against women is on the rise globally.  Two women in separate incidents were attacked in the United States according to Think Progress.  “One woman in Detroit was shot and killed after refusing to give a stranger her phone number. Another woman in New York got her throat slashed for refusing to go on a date with a stranger.”

Women with disabilities are victims of violence more often than the rest of the population.  They are at higher risk for many reasons including ignorance, cultural and religious stigmas, discrimination and lack of family and social support.

According to the National Rape Response Service:

  • U.S. National studies estimate that almost 80% of people with disabilities are sexually assaulted on more than one occasion and 50% of those experienced more than 10 victimizations.
  •  Women with disabilities are raped and abused at a rate at least twice that of the general population of women.
  •  Among adults who are developmentally disabled, as many as 83% of the females and 32% of the males are victims of sexual assault.
  •  The UN believes that the best chance we have to end violence against women is to try and prevent it and address it at the structural and root causes.

The UN suggests two solutions:

  1. Education for prevention
  1. Working with men and boys

My husband and I have two grown children a son and daughter born with Down syndrome.  We taught our son to respect and honor women.  My husband also modeled good behavior so my son was lucky to have a positive role model.  Men and women must work together to find innovative ways to stop the senseless and brutal violence against women with and without disabilities.

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