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Relationship violence against blind and visually impaired people

A study by the Vision Foundation and SafeLives found that one in 12 blind and partially sighted people in the UK had been the victim of domestic violence by their partner. This totals 188,000 visually impaired people who suffer psychologically, physically or financially in the relationship. Harassment can include, among other behaviours, hiding medication and mobility equipment, moving objects, knocking them over, filming the victim without their knowledge or consent, peeping at them or denying them a social life together. The researchers noted that victims showed “very high levels of fear” regarding where the threat might come from and the wellbeing of their children in such situations.

When Pakistani girl Zahida Qureshi contracted polio at the age of 12, she crawled around the school in between classes due to lack of equipment, support and feeling alone. Previously, six schools had refused to admit her because her presence would disrupt the learning of the other students. Now Zahidy’s organisation is distributing thousands of customised wheelchairs to the needy in Pakistan, where the number of people with disabilities is not really known. It is estimated that there are between 3.3 million and 27 million.

The Nuffield Trust charity reports declining support for British Isles residents who provide unpaid care to loved ones. Over the past five years, the number of carers receiving support from local authorities has fallen by 11%. This is despite numerous government proposals and strategies to ensure that carers are valued and supported in their work.

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