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Abuse of the Disabled

I read, somewhere, that a disabled woman has much higher odds of being physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally abused during her life time, than an abled person.However, it seems to be even more of a taboo subject than incest or child molestation. I have found very few resources which address this issue. I hope that my website acts as a little light, hope and understanding to those people who are physically disabled and have been too afraid to speak out or to get help. Many abled bodied people have a hard time accepting that violence or sexual abuse have touched the majority of disabled people at one point in their life. However, abuse is the wrongful forcing of your will on another person through the use of your physical, emotional or mental being over another person. Persons with physical disabilities are "easy" targets in the minds of many abusers, as they often do not have a voice to speak out, or are frightened to speak out for a variety of reasons.

The frequency of abuse against the physically disabled is one that statistics are not readily available. Being physically disabled, I have discovered that I have some issues that surround my disability that able bodied survivors do not deal with to the same intensity. I have heard this from others as well. Issues such as: personal safety, being dependent on others for self care, not wanting to "rock the boat", etc spring up often in email that I have received. For example, a person with severe palsy or who is paralyzed often becomes totally dependent on others to feed, dress and care for their physical bodies. What if that care giver is abusive? Fear of being abandoned or being forgotten are strong issues as well.

Often physically disabled children are praised for being placid, agreeable and cheerful, never complaining. These children feel that they would be betraying doctors, teachers, aides or parents if they dropped the "cheerful little trooper" act and told about abuse by other care givers, teachers or other medical personnel.

I struggle constantly with feeling that I will not be liked if I assert myself, or say that I do not like what is happening to me, or around me. I can take care of myself, physically, and wonder how much worse this fear must be for those who are afraid to speak out, in fear of being "punished" by their care givers. May we break this barrier, speak the truth, and may there be the support for ALL who cry out for justice and support in their healing journey!!!!!

Kayjay's Main page / Disability Issues / Articles Index / Jottings /

ęcopyright 1996, 2001 Kayjay
You are free to use any articles or summaries I have written with my permission and mention of your source in your article or website.





Kayjay's Main page / Disability Issues / Articles Index / Jottings / Links / Guestbook

ęcopyright 1996, 2001 Kayjay
You are free to use any articles or summaries I have written with my permission and mention of your source in your article or website.