Assault by forcibly being moved in my wheelchair — Scope | Disability forum
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Assault by forcibly being moved in my wheelchair

hedgehog45th Member Posts: 6 Connected
Hi There

This is my first post and therefore I'm not sure if I have selected the right category, but there didn't seem to be one for my question. Hence the post in Coffee Lounge.

I had an incident in a public place where I was forcibly moved in my wheelchair and during this, I was hurt by being rammed into people and obviously the other people my wheelchair was rammed into were also hurt. The incident is being looked into at the moment, however, I wanted to try and clarify a point.

If I don't give permission or even get a chance to give permission. Is it Assualt for someone to move me in my wheelchair (in a very angry manner) with no warning etc?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense.


  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Member Posts: 135 Pioneering
    How dare they @hedgehog45th

    I don't know if it's classed as assault but in my eyes it should be, certainly harrassment? 

    How dare they do that the rude ignorant simpletons. Maybe they'd like someone do that to them, when they're in a vulnerable situation. People never fail to amaze me in their behaviour! 

    Hope someone helps you on a more practical level, I felt I just had to respond to your post. 

    Thats really rattled me. 
    Shows them for the people they are!
    A life without compassion and thought for others is a sad life indeed. 

    Best of luck getting advice 

    Joanna xx

  • hedgehog45th
    hedgehog45th Member Posts: 6 Connected
    Hi @joannarashelle

    Thank you for your reply and concern.

    It was the most unnerving experience I have had to date. The guy was at work and having an argument with 2 other colleagues at the same time (I think about me!) I have placed a complaint with the company, hence not too much detail as I don't want to jeopardise it.

    I was just waiting patiently to be told where to go when suddenly I was moving!

    It has truly upset to my core but also made me want to ensure the complaint is seen through to the end, if only for the next disabled person who may not be strong enough to speak up for themselves. 
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Member Posts: 135 Pioneering
    Well done for seeing it through @hedgehog45th, if you feel uneasy just mail me  or others on here we will make you stay strong, blimey it's hard to feel strong in a world full of excuses for humans.  

    I totally empathise with you feeling 'shocked to the core' there have been so many times in my life people have behaved in a shocking manner, I can only apologise on behalf of the morons who have made you feel so shocked but take comfort in the fact that there are plenty on here who will support you and know how you feel, through their own experiences of moronic behaviour! 

    'it's hard to fly like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys' 

    Sending you a x 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
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  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger

    I would say that aggressively moving someone in a wheelchair without consent or consulting the user first is it in itself not assault, A lot would depend on context.

    For example, if someone perceived you were in imminent danger and move you out of danger it would not be considered assault.

    In the example given I would, in my opinion, say yes.

    For an employee to act like this, especially in a public place, during the course of their work would constitute gross misconduct. It goes well beyond lack of consideration or ignorance of dealing with someone in a wheelchair, putting yourself and others at risk.

    I hope your complaint goes well.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh my goodness @hedgehog45th that sounds very upsetting, I dont know what the legalities are but if it was so unnerving and disturbing to you then it is right for you to put in a complaint.
    Senior online community officer
  • hedgehog45th
    hedgehog45th Member Posts: 6 Connected
    Short update
    The company concerned appears to be doing everything they can to investigate this and are communicating well with me.

    Once this is all over I will post again to let you all know what actions have been taken etc. This may be something you have to face in the future and the more we know the less we worry!
  • veriterc
    veriterc Member Posts: 220 Pioneering
    Very interesting posting, and made me think.  Surely when we are in a wheelchair, the chair is an extension of oneself as we are using it in place of our legs.  Therefore someone moving us without our permission (unless for safety reasons) is 'assaulting' us? 
  • Seraphenia
    Seraphenia Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Being someone who's only recently become so disabled that I can no longer stand nor walk without severe pain and then have to cope with major infections in my lower limbs and also a Qualified Nurse. I find this behavior in those able bodied persons disgusting at best. They certainly would not like to be manhandled to a place another person deems they place they should be no matter what the reason unless it is to maintain one's safety. Imagine someone doing this to a person standing quite honestly it would not occur due to fear of repercussions from the other person. I must say since becoming disabled I have been astounded at how totally invisible I have now become. I have had people talk about me whilst going past me like because I am in a scooter I have suddenly lost my hearing also several comments I have heard have been " I bet there is nothing wrong with her really she is only doing it for the money", Oh yes I would do this for my PIP payments I really have to bite my tongue on so many occasions it is unreal. I have even been asked by one guy if I can walk cos I don't look disabled! To that one, I actually asked: "why what does a disabled person look like"? He did not answer, just walked away. Well, people, I wish you luck with your complaints but I really do think the saying on joannarashelle post
    'it's hard to fly like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys'. Is very apt and is unlikely to change anytime soon. 

  • Natalya
    Natalya Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I am not a lawyer my comment is based on extracts of an online conversation about a similar issue of someone shoving a wheelchair user's wheelchair between some people including a lawyer not officially giving advice and someone who has done some research int this. 

    You might have a case for the offence of 'battery' which is application of unlawful force even if that was delivered 'through' the wheelchair.

    You might have a case for assault which does not require physical contact or violence if you feared for your safety which you might be able to make a case for because of the angry manner used by the wheelchair-pusher and their lack of consent seeking from you. 

    The classic caselaw on the difference between assault and battery, is "Smith v Suptd Woking Police Station" as one may apply and not the other. 

    One difficulty seems to be that unless someone is seriously hurt the police/CPS can be reluctant to prosecute because "it wouldn't be in the public interest".

    You might be able to take a disabled hatecrime case:

    Disability aids including wheelchairs seem to be regarded in the law as "possessions" and not part of the person (with no UK, and limited US caselaw on the matter) even though WE users classify them as part of ourselves. 

    So it's a bit of of a mixed bag and complicated legally. 
  • Vi_G
    Vi_G Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Being a disabled lady I was disgusted that someone I consider "man handled" you 
    just wanted to give you my support and hope this male gets his just desserts xxxx


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