These stories will feed into a project by Dr Hannah Mason-Bish at the University of Sussex which aims to document the experiences of disabled women. With a background in hate crime research I have increasingly examined how women might experience street harassment and how an intersectional understanding of this is so important. Disabled women have often been overlooked in terms of how hate crime and harassment might affect their lives. Similarly, non-binary people are often left out of research around hate crime and sexual violence. This study aims to highlight this important concern within wider issues of consent and physical intrusion.
Dr Amy Kavanagh, founder of the #JustAskDontGrab campaign is also working on the project. Her work highlights the unwanted touching that disabled people experience everyday and how this often has a gendered dimension. These stories will be used to inform a series of life story interviews and to specifically examine:
- how disabled women experience touching in public and how this might be intrusive; unwanted or non-consensual.
- to explore the ways in which this might impact on or limit the freedom of movement that disabled women have and what measures they take to avoid it.
- to begin to draw out the deeper intersectional nature of these experiences and impact this might have on their identity.