Power imbalances are more extreme in disabled
relationships. Societal devaluation of people
with disabilities increases their vulnerability
Society's ignorance of the abuses
toward disabled people leaves them more vulnerable
to further abuse.
Society and its systems are abusive
to the disabled and their families.
Their families are stretched emotionally,
physically and financially. There is significant
lack of community support and resources for individuals
Professional care givers are inadequately
prepared and trained for the individuals and conditions
they will work in, and they are often poorly paid
for their jobs.
Societys fear and ignorance
of disabilities is disabling.
Bastards and bitches
others to satisfy
their own selfish and perverse desires.
A life was given
A life was taken
The perpetrator perpetrates his evil
and feeds his appetite
with the life of others.
It is called
means filling in the holes
with God’s love and healing
For only the Creator
that which was lost
that which was stolen
that which needs to be restored,
For only He knows
how I am made.
I am very drunk now.
No one can stop me.
I am the queen of my domain.
I have the final say, stay away from me.
I can’t fight, my mind is alive,
but my body is lifeless.
There are three of them,
and I know I don’t have a chance.
My God in heaven, please help me.
I try to fight;
I feel the cement scrape my body,
as I am drug across this cold floor.
A very old yet familiar feeling engulfs me.
It is almost comforting.
For I am no longer inside myself.
Once again I am crouched in a corner watching.
Hoping and praying that my invaders will kill me
when they are done.
Please help the children
of this world;
They are hurt and hurting
and are crushed beneath the weight
of our insanity.
Please bless the children
and awaken us
before it is too late.
Associate Not Disasssociate
Anger melts into and nourishes
the spring of forgiveness
I don't want to pay any
Longer for being abused
I've paid enough
Long ago the journey began
as Innocent life was
enshrouded with incest and pain;
Knowing no love, needing, wanting, trying...
Taken in the night by the eyes and
the beat of the drum resounding in the woods,
Innocence was destroyed, the body tortured,
the mind split, and a childhood was lost.
Unknown to those around,
the essence of life lay hidden deep within;
protected from the enmeshed control,
only to be revealed in its season.
Daring to risk, to tell, to grow...
Choosing to let go of the old,
a new life has been found.
A circle of love gives freedom to soar!
Being disabled is no reason for:
- Being treated with a lack of respect
- Name calling and "put downs"
- Being taken advantage of with
unsolicited touches and/or hugs
- Needing to keep defending yourself
- Not being seen as a whole person
- Not having one's individuality
- Inability to see a disabled person
as someone who thinks, hears, sees, feels and
Power imbalances are more extreme
in disabled relationships.
Some reports show that sexual and
physical abuse of individuals with disabilities
runs as high as 3 to 4 times higher than abuse in
the general population.
It might be speculated that
disabled women and girls are perceived as ideal
targets because their disabilities may mean they
are unable to flee, or communicate easily. The
very fact that they are female, smaller, and socialized
to be passive may, again, increase the risk of
abuse. A study by the Seattle Rape Relief Development
Disabilities Project found that 90% of the girls
and women referred to them had been exploited
by relatives or individuals they knew. DAWN:
DisAbled Women's Network, Toronto
Discussion - The Abuse
of Individuals With Disabilities
Fear and ignorance exist. People without disabilities
are afraid of those who do have disabilities,
and they dont understand the disabled. They
sometimes take advantage of disabled people. The
disabled often encounter a lack of respect such
as name calling and put downs.
People often make assumptions of a disabled person,
and dont ask the person themselves, or check
the persons body language. They often treat
the disabled person differently, taking liberties
without permission, such as touching them or doing
things for them that the disabled person would
often prefer to do for themselves. Disabled people
are often at the mercy of their caregivers, having
to conform to imposed routines, without choice.
They are treated as children, with no rights (people
dont even say excuse me).
Professional administrators and/or those who
work with the disabled arent always able
to understand the individual disabled persons
reality. The professionals often perceive things
differently. Additionally, facilities are often
understaffed, with staff sometimes becoming abusive
with the individuals, treating them without understanding
or empathy. Staff are inadequately prepared, trained
and paid for their jobs. Professionals in the
field are overworked and burning out
without any support and recognition. The disabled
are also sometimes over medicated, in those instances
suffering a form of drug abuse.
People often cross boundaries when relating to
a disabled person that they normally would not
with others. The disabled are often put into the
position of defending themselves in order to maintain
their own respect and dignity.
Disabled children have no boundaries. They are not
allowed to think or feel for themselves, starting
with basic routines and the experiences of daily
living. Emotionally they are even denied their feelings
and the expressions of those feelings such as crying,
Power imbalances are more extreme
in disabled relationships. Disabled individuals
are often reliant on others to speak for them due
to an inability to express language, or the inability
of others to pick up on their cues. The sense of
a disabled person as an individual being is sometimes
Disabilities, and the lack of understanding
of those disabilities by others can further compound
and create other disabilities. The families of the
disabled are stretched emotionally, physically and
financially. There are minimal community supports,
in fact there is a great lack of systemic support
and resources. There is poor funding available.
Society and the systems are abusive to the disabled
and their families. Disabled people are stared at
and made fun of. Both the individuals and their
families are stigmatized.
People often deny the existence of
the disabled. They are perceived as being unproductive
people. When abuse is reported, the disabled are
often seen as being incredible, because they cannot
always describe the details clearly. Children with
disabilities deserve respect, understanding, equality
ON THE ABUSE OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES:
Diverse City Press/National Film
Board. No! How. Film, directed by Barbara Streisand,
written by Pat Conroy and Becky Johnston. Canada,
English, 9 min. 30 sec. 1998.
Franchi, Linda M. Greater Vancouver
Association of the Deaf, Co-producers. Sharing Secrets.
Film, directed by Don Bangs, written by Patti Dobie
and Linda M. Franchi. Canada: Distributed by the
National Film Board, 80 min. 1991.
G. Allan Roeher Institute. The Right
To Control What Happens to Your Body: A Straightforward
Guide to Sexuality and Sexual Abuse. North York,
Ont.: Roeher Institute, 1991.
G. Allan Roeher Institute and Canada,
Family Violence Prevention Division. Vulnerable:
Sexual Abuse and People With an Intellectual Handicap.
Downsview, Ontario: Roeher Institute, 1988.
MacNamara, Roger D. Creating Abuse-Free
Caregiving Environments for Children, the Disabled
and the Elderly: Preparing, Supervising and Managing
Caregivers for the Emo. 1992.
National Committee to Prevent Child
Abuse. Disabled Child and Child Abuse. Kline: 1983.
National Film Board. Canadian Association
of Independent Living Centres, Co-producers. Double
Jeopardy. Film. Canada: Distributed by the National
Film Board, 30 min. 1996.
Pound, Edward T. Faith, Death
and Betrayal: The Busam Family Placed A Retarded
Son, Joey In The Care Of Catholic Brothers. Now
He Is Dead Of AIDS. U.S. News & World
Report, March 11, 1996, vol. 120 no. 10, p. 42-8,
Rappaport, Sol. R., et al. Child
Sexual Abuse Curriculum for the Developmentally
It's not your fault
No more Childabuse
Don't hurt little kids
I wish that we would
not be abused.
Ashley, age 8