Disability Hate Crime Personal Accounts

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Every day around Scotland many people are victims of disability crime, you can read a few of their accounts below.

On this page:

Sam talks about the abuse she has received having Down Syndrome

Sean describes life with Asperger's Syndrome and the discrimination he's faced

Alison discusses an incident where she was abused for parking in a disabled space

Ivan has learning difficulties and describes a bus journey where he was a victim of disability hate crime



I get the train to and from my work every day. 

I have been working as a catering assistant for 12 years. 

Everyone is always very nice to me at the stations and on the trains, they know me. 

One day I was waiting on the platform for my train and an older man wearing a green jacket came up to me and spat in my eye for no reason then just walked on without saying anything. 

I was just standing waiting on the train. I don’t understand why someone would do that.  I felt shocked. 

I didn’t report it to police myself as I didn’t know it was a crime but when I told my dad we reported it.  

I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else which is why I wanted to be part of this campaign. 

I want people to report hate crime to police.



My name is Sean, I am 26 years old and I have Asperger's Syndrome.

My incident of discrimination occurred when I worked for a mega retailer of 4 years.

I was always held at a disadvantaged state compared to my co-workers, I wasn't allowed to do certain tasks or use certain equipment, even though I could.

I was constantly turned down for further training opportunities and promotion, which didn't make sense to me as I always did my best on the job.

During the last few months of my employment all I was allowed to do was sweep floors and stack shelves, and I knew that I could do more.

I felt that I was an inconvenience when new management took over and that was really difficult for me. it made me feel anxious, stressed, and depressed.

I left my job in 2018 and joined an outreach service for autistic people in my local area, which I am glad I did.

I take part in various activities at the service and within my local community, which I absolutely love.

I feel that more needs to be done to help autistic people and their families, and to help everyone realise that autism is not something tragic, but rather something that has to be embraced in all aspects of public life.

Only then will autistic people be able to live well within their communities.



Over the years, while using disabled parking spaces my cars have been damaged a few times - non accidental scratches mostly.

The most upsetting incident though was when I was again targeted for using a disabled parking space, it was bizarre.

At the time I was in a lot of pain, I used my wheelchair often but I could get about if I wore a neck collar and various splints. I could walk short distances, albeit slowly, using my two walking sticks. At the time we were respite carers for children who had learning disabilities. The children would stay with us for a day or a few days most weeks.

One day I took one of the young children, my granddaughter and my teenage son into the town centre. I parked in a disabled space. When we were on our way back to the car we noticed a woman who was perhaps in her 80s walking round my car. The woman then got into her car and repeatedly hit her car door off my car! We were all shocked. I asked my son to run and stand behind her car to stop her moving away until I got there.

When I got to my car I asked "what on earth have you done that for?"

She replied "that car should not be parked there".

I said "why not?"

And she said "because it has children's seats and toys and disabled people can't have children!"

I am rarely speechless but that was one of the few times I was.

Although I took her registration number and told her I would report her to the police - I didn't report it. I just wanted to get home. My Insurance fixed my car. I should have reported this to the police and I absolutely would now.



I have been together with my partner for several years. For some time now, we have used the local bus to travel to the drop-in centre which we both attend, on a Friday.

The drop-in has recently moved and is now based in a different area.

Because the journey is new to us, we needed to ask the bus driver to let us know when we reach the correct bus stop.

It took me some time to ask the bus driver to do this as my speech is affected by my learning disability and the driver struggled to make out what I was saying.

The conversation with the bus driver held up the queue of people getting on the bus and the man behind me muttered under his breath:

“You’re not all there AND you get a bloody free bus pass. Stop holding us working folk up. Bloody retards!”

The driver and other people in the queue heard this but no one challenged the man. We lowered our heads and hurried onto the bus, unsure of our journey and feeling quite upset.

Learning disability insults and harassment make life for us an ‘everyday misery’. Bystanders can make a difference by taking a stand and reporting such hate crimes and incidents. We need to drive hate out of our communities and help each other be safe. Don’t ignore it, report it!

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