According to a research that was recently conducted, girls with disability have higher chances of facing violence as compared to the ones without disability. This violence can be in the form of sexual, verbal or even emotional assault. What’s worse is that such violence against girls with disability is expected to last for a longer time than the normal average. This means these girls are made to go through an ordeal which very few of us know about. We hardly read about it, and few people are sensitive about the issue too.
Who abuses these women? Interestingly, most women, who were found abused, were made to go through this ordeal by their known people. This could be anyone from their family members to the care-givers. While the family members might verbally abuse them or even attack them emotionally, the care-givers’ assault can be in the form of disagreements or refusal to help these disabled girls with their daily needs.
It is estimated that almost two thirds of women/girls with disability have been physically or sexually assaulted in their life. More surprisingly, most women/girls faced this assault when they were very young. Let me share a story of a young girl who was made to go through this ordeal when she was just 10. Like any other girl, she wanted to make friends. She wanted to be loved and cared for. However, what she received was completely opposite. She could not make friends as most of them would always make her a source of humor. Her family wouldn’t be of any help either. As soon as she reached home, her mother would start to curse her, and even threaten to beat her. She would be frustrated about how slow this girl worked. Unfortunately, the girl could not take it for very long. She became a victim of depression in a couple of years, and left her house one day. No one still knows what happened to her, and where did she go. How many such girls go through the same torment in their lives? It is important that a solution is derived soon enough.
TYPES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST DISABLED GIRLS
Here are the various types of physical abuses that a girl with disability can generally face:
Physical Abuse: This is that type of violence that can cause physical harm or injury. This could include various forms of violence like hitting, kicking or even shaking someone. We have heard stories of parents punishing their girls because of the fact that they were slow in performing the tasks that they were assigned.
Sexual Assault: This comes as a surprise to many, and it did to me too. We hardly tend to believe that girls with disability can be sexually assaulted, but the number of assaults that they face is whopping. A person that they know or don’t know might force them to perform a sexual activity. It is not just confined to forced intercourse, but people are also found to touch the personal parts of these girls or even make them touch the assaulters’ personal parts.
Verbal Abuse: While physical and sexual assault get reported at some time, verbal abuse mostly goes unnoticed and unreported. However, it can be seriously damaging to the girls’ self-esteem. This can include admonishing someone or even using harsh words about their disability.
Emotional Abuse: This form of abuse stems from verbal abuse. This, however, goes a step further. It does not only include words but also actions through which the self-esteem of the disabled girl can be shattered. As we noticed in the story above, a disabled girl can simply be ignored to destroy her emotionally. Making her feel that she is good for nothing is another form of emotional abuse.
Deprivation: Finally, another form of violence against disabled girls is depriving them of their basic needs as also their human rights. We mentioned above of how some care-givers refuse to help the girls with their daily needs. That is a form of deprivation, and one that might slice the girls from within.
WAYS OF PREVENTING VIOLENCE
It was very important to note the various forms of violence; because unless we know that it is violence we wouldn’t be able to act against it. Here are some ways that can be used to prevent such violence to occur or recur:
- Assertiveness: The first thing to do is to be assertive. If you feel that you aren’t strong enough, there are chances that the assaulters will gain more confidence to be violent against you. You must be able to clearly express your feelings to the other person.
- Support: You must express your feelings; however, you should not try to tackle it all by yourself. You have to realize that confronting a situation alone can be a risky endeavor. Therefore, it is essential that you avail support from your friends in the time of need.
- Self-Defense Course: It shall be worthwhile to take a self-defense course. It will prepare you with things you can do when violence does take place.
- Speak with Others: You can speak with other people who can help you with the problem. One of the options is to speak with your friends, who can instantly come to your rescue. Additionally, you can develop a community resource list for your area. Many of these resources provide support to community members during a difficult situation.
- Build Confidence: One of the most significant ways of preventing violence is by building confidence in you. When you are confident about yourself, it reflects in your demeanor. There are innovative ways of doing so. For example, simply by improving your mobility you can feel better about the situation. You can buy any of the available mobility scooters for the cause.
RAY OF HOPE
Not all is lost, though. It seems that there is some headway in terms of improving the situation of girls with disability. New systems and offices are being developed by the government for the sake of these girls. Moreover, there are counselors who can help you with your situation. Finally, the advent of scooters is another boon. Being mobile and independent gives you a sense of confidence. Buy a Go-Go electric mobility scooter or any other that suits your needs, and you are ready to explore the world – all on your own.