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“Stand by me” campaign launched

20 June, 2011

Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle has welcomed a new 3-Year campaign launched today by Mencap campaign entitled “Stand by me” to highlight hate crime directed against people with learning disabilities.

It has been launched during Learning Disability Week 2011 which runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th June.

Ms Boyle said

“Mencap has just launched a 3-year campaign against hate crime entitled “Stand by me”. It will challenge the police, the criminal justice system and the courts to end hate crime against people with a learning disability.

The campaign will also highlight the fact that all too often people with a learning disability become the victims of crime because of their disability.

Verbal or physical attacks on people with learning disabilities should be seen as no different as other types of bullying, racist or homophobic attacks and should be met with revulsion in our communities.

"We need to be highlighting that this short of bullying is taking place and that is totally unacceptable. We need to get that message out into our schools, youth clubs, workplaces and society in general.

People with learning disabilities should not feel alone, cut off from society or be feeling they cannot seek help with the police or other agencies when it's needed. The perpetrators of these actions also need to know that this type of behaviour will not and should not be tolerated in today's society."

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