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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
'My disability made me a target'
Parking sign
One woman's problems started after she was given a parking bay
A report has suggested that almost half Scotland's disabled people have suffered some form of abuse.

A third of those who took part in the study said they were verbally abused or physically attacked at least once a month.

Capability Scotland and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), who commissioned the research, are now calling for changes to the law.

Here, some of those at the receiving end tell their stories.

The problems began for Morag (not her real name) after she was given a parking space outside her home.

Car parking

"It was lovely when I first moved in, I thought I was moving to a palace," she said.

"Our life became hell when the council gave me a disabled bay outside my gate.

"The neighbours were objecting to the fact that I had a wee bit of car parking space all to myself.

"They let my tyres down on my car. They scratched my car, they parked so close to it that I couldn't get into my car.

Once I was on the bus when someone threatened to slit my throat
"When I am out in my back garden they shout horrible things at me.

"The only solution that my husband and I have come up with is that we would have to move just to live a normal life."

Another victim, from Perthshire, was forced to move after being targeted by a neighbour.

"He was spitting on the door, kicking the door, throwing eggs at the window.

"He used to phone me and I had to go ex-directory. My dad had to stay over at my bedsit."

One disabled person from the east of Scotland told of being subjected to name-calling and threatening behaviour.

'Takes breath away'

"At one point it was happening once a month, often at bus stops at night.

"Once I was on the bus when someone threatened to slit my throat. My legs turned to jelly. Luckily, a friend came and sat with me otherwise I would have had to get off the bus.

"One time I was called a Thunderbirds puppet in the supermarket and what was worse, it was a mum saying it in front of her children.

"It takes your breath away, I just had to get out."

Disabled 'are hate crime targets'
05 Apr 04  |  Scotland

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