Sexual Violence against Women with Disabilities in Ghana: Accounts of Women with Disabilities from Ashanti Region

Authors

  • Maxwell Peprah Opoku University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education, Hobart
  • Nicole Huyser Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Department of Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam
  • Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah Centre for Disability Rehabilitation Studies, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Eric Badu Sightsavers International, Strategic Programme Innovations, Development, Evidence and Research (SPIDER)
  • Beatrice Atim Alupo Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences, Pan African University, Soa, Yaounde

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v27i2.500

Keywords:

Women with disabilities, sexual violence, family support, rejection, isolation, poverty

Abstract

Purpose: Women with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to violence and often at risk of being violated sexually. The study aimed to document the causes and consequences of sexual violence against women with disabilities in Mampong Municipality of Ashanti region in Ghana.

Methods: This exploratory study recruited 41 participants, made up of women living with intellectual, visual and hearing disabilities, were interviewed using convenience and snowball sampling techniques. 

Results: It was found that many participants had suffered sexual violence and factors such as poverty, rejection by families, isolation and unemployment were given as the cause. It was also found that these women suffered consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, divorce, outright rejection and psychological trauma.

Conclusion: The current situation of women with disabilities make it impossible for them to escape sexual violence. Therefore, it is essential that national awareness campaigns be fashioned to encourage people to provide support to their family members with disabilities. 

Author Biographies

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education, Hobart

Maxwell Peprah Opoku is a Ghanaian from the Ashanti region of Ghana. He has a degree in Political Science from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.  After serving a year as a Teaching and Research Assistant, he developed interest in disability which influenced his decision to enroll in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development for his second degree from the same University. He was appointed as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Centre of Disability Studies, Department of Community Health while pursuing his Masters degree. His areas of specialty are - disability, special education, community based rehabilitation, inclusive education, health research, management of natural resources, human rights, social policies and public policy. Maxwell is currently doing his PhD in Australia.

Nicole Huyser, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Department of Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam

Nicole Huyser was born in Heemskerk, Netherlands. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Life sciences and a Masters degree in Health Sciences with a specialization in International Public Health from VU University in Amsterdam. After her Masters, she volunteered at a center for intellectually disabled persons. Her area of expertise is health research, disability and development, community based rehabilitation, inclusive education, international public health and containment strategies of infectious diseases.

Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah, Centre for Disability Rehabilitation Studies, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr Wisdom Mprah has two degrees from University of Cape Coast, Ghana and has done his PhD in Disability Studies from University of Illinois. He is currently a lecturer at the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah Universqity of Science and Technology.

Eric Badu, Sightsavers International, Strategic Programme Innovations, Development, Evidence and Research (SPIDER)

Eric Badu is a Ghanaian, with interest in Disability and Health research, human rights issues, and Capacity Building and Statistical data analysis. He has 2 years’ and 5 months experience in diverse fields including teaching and consulting in disability and health research, community development practice, empowerment and capacity building. He holds MSc Disability, Rehabilitation and Development, and Bachelor of Arts degree where he majored in Akan (Language and Linguistics) and minored in Economics. Since 2013, he has worked as Graduate Assistant, Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, where he led students to visit Community Base Rehabilitation Programmes for Persons with Disabilities. He had also worked as Teaching Assistant in the department of Modern Languages, Faculty of Social Sciences, KNUST from 2011-2012, where he organized tutorials for undergraduate students.

Beatrice Atim Alupo, Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences, Pan African University, Soa, Yaounde

Beatrice Atim Alupo has a degree in International Business from Makerere University. She worked as a intern/trainee with the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives. She has also pursued a Masters degree in Governance and Regional Integration from the Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Science, Pan African University, Soa, Yaounde in Cameroon. Her areas of interest are trade, regional integration, public relations, human rights, marketing, management and social research.

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Published

2016-09-07

How to Cite

1.
Opoku MP, Huyser N, Mprah WK, Badu E, Alupo BA. Sexual Violence against Women with Disabilities in Ghana: Accounts of Women with Disabilities from Ashanti Region. DCIDJ [Internet]. 2016 Sep. 7 [cited 2024 Jul. 15];27(2):91-111. Available from: https://dcidj.uog.edu.et/index.php/up-j-dcbrid/article/view/225

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Section

Original Research Articles