Barriers in reporting of sexual violence against women with disabilities in Ashanti region of Ghana

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Nicole Huyser, Jonathan Mensah, Michael Amponteng


Despite the need to report incidents of sexual violence, there is a high rate of unreported cases in almost every community worldwide. Therefore, the aim of the study was to examine the extent of reporting of sexual violence against women with disabilities as well as the barriers limiting their ability to report. The study was an exploratory research which adopted a qualitative method of data collection. In total, 41 participants were recruited using purposive and snowball sampling methods. The study found that almost all women with disabilities did not report sexual violence perpetrated against them to any legal authority. Even those who reported either informed a family member or trusted friend. Barriers such as poverty, lack of bond with family and friends and communication difficulties, limited the ability of victims to report abuse they have suffered. The condition of women with disabilities will make it impossible for them to report abuses committed against them. It is important for reward packages to be made available to women with disabilities who boldly report abuse committed against them. Also, there is the need for awareness campaigns to urge families and communities to accept women with disabilities and provide them with their needs. This will protect them from people who will trade assistance for sexual favours. 


Women with disabilities, violence, barriers, reporting, law enforcement, court

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ISSN: 2454-6623