On Monday I visited the Mosaic Disability Charity at the Brite Centre in Leicester to discuss disability hate crime with staff and attendees.
The Mosaic Charity delivers services and information which promote inclusion, equality, independence, choice, empowerment, respect and dignity to people with a variety of disabilities. They recognise and challenge the prejudice, discrimination and social isolation that many disabled people face throughout their lives and work to deliver dynamic and creative new services, designed by disabled people.
Clearly the organisation does valuable work, and I was impressed by their operation. Some of the attendees had disturbing stories to tell of the way they had been treated by people when out and about. One man had been spat at on the bus by a man who went on to use insulting language to some young children. Rather worryingly the bus driver declined to take any action. One of the women had suffered verbal abuse in a local shop and althought the shopkeeper took action, she now feels uncomfortable going to the shop. This is a clear indication of how this sort of incident can affect a vulnerable person's life long after the event itself. Another woman had been a victim of what is known as Mate Crime - when a criminal pretends to be a friend to a vulnerable person in order to move in and use their home for criminal activities.
It was an interesting visit which showed the need for those in vulnerable circumstances to be supported in the face of abuse and crime.
You can find out more about Mosaic on their website HERE.