Disabled Women And Domestic Abuse

According to “Barrier Free Living” 80% of women who have a disability have been sexually assaulted. That is a shocking amount of women.

I have never been abused in any way by anyone, but I do know many women, some disabled and some not who have been abused mentally, physically or both.
My friend was almost killed by her off again on again abusive boyfriend several times he would choke her or threw her on the floor taking her wheelchair away, hiding her cell phone and locking the dog up. She has a shunt and one wrong blow to the head could have killed her instantly.

He held a knife to her dog’s throat and said he would kill the dog an elderly wolf/German Shepard mix if she didn’t do what he wanted. If that dog were younger, he would have killed that man in a heartbeat, he already had a record because of his fierce protection towards my friend who has a profound disability and is hospitalized regularly for underlining conditions as a result of having her Spina Bifida disability since birth.

Another friend of mine had been adopted by an abusive family to marrying an abusive man leading her down the path of self-shame, addiction and nearly death. He liked to throw her wheelchair in the yard and took her braces she needed to walk short distances with crutches and make her crawl around. She still deals with the after-effects of her life and has done a lot of soul-searching and, I’m so proud to say she’s clean and sober, and I get to talk to her whenever I want. It’s a big deal, when you are scared that the addict, you love will accidentally kill themselves.

She credits her belief in God and uses her faith to rise above everything and let go. She divorced that scum and is living happily alone with her cats.

It’s very upsetting to think that the majority of disabled women are abused by someone they know, and that it continues far longer and more viciously then able-bodied women.

The scariest part of the statics is the amount of rapes that aren’t reported or reported at a later date because of fear. It’s almost impossible to report someone in your own family for such crimes when you depend on them for your very survival.

Then there are accessibility issues of leaving and if a safe housing is suited for a woman with a disability and possibly children to stay and figure things out.

Would there be anyone willing to come and pick her up and move her out if needed?

Many women in this situation don’t have access to cars or have money to help in the aid of their escape.

These things need to be focused on in order to be helpful to disabled women no matter their disability. We also need to figure out a way to empower women and make them feel worthy, worthy of being treated with respect and dignity, and if they were abused to teach them that it doesn’t define them that they can move on and there are good people in the world, and they deserve that.

I think many disabled women in general have low self-esteem, and they may take the abuser back figuring that’s the best they can get. However, I’ve seen AB women do the exact same thing for the same reason.

I know how hard it is to get someone free of an abuser only to have them go back. It’s frustrating to say the least.

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Tara Richardson
About Tara Richardson 2 Articles
When she's not blogging about disability issues, she's coming up with new ideas for her next children's book. Tara spent 20+ years as a professional digital painter where she worked as a character/texture artist for the video game industry. Tara has Cerebral palsy, which mainly affects her legs, by the age of 19, she began to use her wheelchair full time. Tara says she's truly blessed being married to the man of her dreams. She loves animals, camping, swimming, horseback riding & cooking. She's a spoke's girl for Colours Wheelchairs, and a honary Push Girl.