Future Directions SPICE Group supporting Antibullying Week 2017

15th November 2017 |

Every person has the right to be treated with respect and to live a life free from abuse. , Monday 13th November 2017, marked the beginning of Anti-Bullying week which is chartered by the Anti-bullying Alliance; a campaign to take action on bullying. This year's theme is ''All Different, All Equal', and aims to celebrate our diversities and what makes us unique.

According to Mencap, as many as 9 out of 10 people with learning disabilities have been a victim of hate crime and/or harassment. Bullying can take many forms and people may suffer from verbal and physical attacks, psychological abuse, targeted crime, 'mate' crime and other types of abuse. It can happen face-to-face or through the use of the internet. It can happen to anybody at any time, nobody is exempt but some are far more vulnerable than others.

People with learning disabilities can be particularly vulnerable because of their disabilities, and may be seen as 'different' or 'easy targets'. Furthermore, some people with learning disabilities don't even realise that abuse is happening to them. For example 'mate crime' is when people pretend to be someone's friend then takes advantage over that person. The victim may not comprehend that the person is abusing them and believe them when they say they are their friend.  It is therefore extremely important to educate those with learning disabilities to be able to recognise if this kind of abuse ever happens to them, so they can take control and seek help.

Future Directions CIC and members of our SPICE group have done lots of work within the organisation and the wider community, to educate people with learning disabilities about what abuse is, how it can take place and how to stay safe. We want all individuals to be able to identify forms of abuse and to know what to do if it happens to them. We have provided training to community groups and learning disability organisations, including day centres run by the local authority, local colleges, and the North West Self-Advocates Conference. We also run 'hate crime awareness events' at local libraries and leisure centres, whereby we have made the general public aware of the impact it can have on the victim and what to do if you see someone being bullied or abused.  Feedback from these events has been extremely positive, allowing others to understand how often situations actually occur and what is placed into the community to support anybody who is suffering from any kind of abuse. Future Directions CIC want to end hate crime and bullying, helping to create a community where everyone feels welcome, is safe and free from harm. By being able to identify it – we can all help to end it.

 #antibullyingweek                                                   #abw17


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