What happened: On 12.12.2020, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights registered a case reported by a parent of an autistic child. Namely, the entire family had suffered harassment and threats by two neighbours from the building. The neighbours, on several occasions, kicked and hit the door of the apartment, yelling they would kill the family and their nine-year old autistic child because they couldn’t stand the noise that the child, whom they called “mental”, was supposedly making.
Brief description of the incident with bias indicators: In this incident the bias motive is the child’s disability as the basis for the harassment and threats, with the bias indicators being:
- Pattern of previous incidents – previous incidents of similar nature;
- Disability – the neighbours, on several occasions punched and kicked the front door of the family, shouting death threats against the family and their nine-year old autistic child because they couldn’t stand the noise that the child, whom they kept calling “mental”, was allegedly making.
Impact on the victims and the community: These types of incidents call into question the general safety of the family and particularly endanger the free movement of a minor. Such treatment of people with intellectual disability is further reflected in the public discourse and enhances stigmatization in society.