'Victim-blaming': Disabled woman fears leaving flat after neighbour's abuse
- Credit: PA
A disabled Maida Vale woman who has been "racially bullied and harassed" by a neighbour is calling on her housing association to take action.
The woman, whom the Ham&High is not naming, has lived in a property managed by the Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA) since 2005.
She said that since a new neighbour moved in two years ago, her quality of life has deteriorated, and she now fears leaving her flat.
She said: "He calls me horrible, racist names and threatens me all the time.
"I live alone and can't protect myself against him. I'm scared he will physically attack me, and because of my disability, it could affect me permanently.
"I've lived here for over a decade, and my care support and church family all live here, and so it would be really difficult for me to move."
Despite alerting the housing association to her neighbour's behaviour numerous times, and despite the police attending, the resident says her concerns have been ignored, and that the removal of CCTV has left her feeling unsafe.
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SAHA said tenants, including the resident, requested the CCTV was removed and that it is consulting with residents on reinstalling cameras.
The man was given verbal warnings and told to sign an agreement not to harass the resident, but this expired after a year.
"I feel like they're victim-blaming and taking the side of the abuser," the woman said.
"A phone call is nothing to a person threatening to break my legs.
"They said they won't act until he is charged by the police, but there is no reason why they can't evict him. It feels like they are waiting for a fatality to happen.
"I always lock my door but it isn't a tank – if he kicks it hard enough he can break in and get me. I have been vomiting with fear."
A SAHA spokesperson said the safety of residents is taken "very seriously", and that the woman's two complaints about antisocial behaviour were "investigated and resolved".
They said: “It is important to stress that the complaints did mention racial abuse but the evidence our resident provided did not substantiate this.
"The allegation of racial abuse is currently being investigated by the police. Abuse of any kind is not tolerated, but it is important that we allow the police investigation to reach a conclusion before we consider any tenancy action.
“We have offered support options to our resident, including temporary respite accommodation, but each offer has been declined."
Police have confirmed and investigation is under way.