Suddenly everyone seems to be talking about disability hate crime in the last few years when it never previously existed. Some people are complaining that the welfare reforms, and in fact anything they do not agree with, will see a rise in disability rated hate crime. When people whinge about people swearing at them etc, it is never put in any kind of context. If it was, we may understand the so-called aggressor was maybe provoked by the hostile actions of the disabled person themselves.
I am worried that what is really happening is that hate crime has become the new term of vulnerability which once again reinforces notions that disabled people are natural victims of society. This is crime against disabled people which must be treated with the same respect as any crime (not simply written off as hate crime), and there is bullying. And the best way of dealing with bullying is to empower people to be victims and challenge it directly rather than being left in fear of ‘hate crime’ as many charities seem to want to happen.
We can all be vulnerable from time to time but we must be empowered not to be victims nor consider everything to be a hate crime.