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12% of disabled women in Orissa have been raped: Study
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February 18, 2005 15:49 IST

Over 12 per cent of disabled women in Orissa have been raped and 25 per cent of mentally challenged have been sexually assaulted, a study conducted by Swabhimaan, a non-government organisation for disabled women, has said.

Physically disabled women are more susceptible to emotional, physical and sexual abuse, the survey said.

The study said parents, husbands and close family members were the perpetrators of emotional or physical abuse in most cases.

A written questionnaire was given to 729 disabled respondents aged between 18-40 years from 12 districts in Orissa. It asked them if they had ever experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

12.6 per cent said they had been raped. Fifteen per cent said they had been pinched and touched uncomfortably.

Twenty per cent of the physically disabled and 22 per cent of mentally challenged women said they were coerced into sex or raped by family members.

It is still a taboo for women to publicly discuss or officially report abuse and domestic violence, the report said.

Inquiry into domestic violence, especially sexual abuse was one of the most complex, controversial and disturbing challenges that faced the researchers, Sruti Mohapatra, principal investigator of the study, said.

In many cases, family members refused to cooperate with investigators, she said.

The study said at least one in three women worldwide had been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in her lifetime, quoting a report of the John Hopkins School of Public Health and the Centre for Health and Gender Equity.


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