Connecting Conversations: Katharine Quarmby and Valerie Sinason
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The Perennial Need for a Scapegoat
What is it that causes fear of the unknown other to such an extent that hate crimes are possible?
Children and adults with intellectual disability are more vulnerable to discrimination, physical and mental ill-health, poverty, sexual abuse and other crimes that stem from hate. Children and adults with other forms of disability and vulnerability are also targeted. They are in the wrong place, the wrong body, the wrong colour, the wrong income. Why? What is it about the psychosocial meaning of disability - and different forms of ‘otherness’ - that can evoke such hostile responses?
Katharine Quarmby is an award winning writer and journalist who has grappled profoundly with the issue of disability hate crime for years in her books and interviews -particularly in her book Scapegoat: Why We Are Failing Disabled People. She has also thrown a spotlight on the experiences of Britain’s nomads, in her latest book, No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers. Valerie Sinason is a psychoanalyst who has worked for over thirty years with children and adults with disability and author of Mental Handicap and the Human Condition: An Analytic Approach to Intellectual Disability, and also works with sex offenders and victims of abuse.