Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence and Disabilities

In 1986 I found myself in an abusive relationship. I had become one, of the one billion.



Playwright Eve Ensler’s Vday Movement has raised over 90 million dollars to stop violence against women and girls worldwide.

Vday is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. Vday generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.

Well once again, I’m in!

Vagina Monologue Cast 2009, Bethlehem, PA

Vagina Monologue Cast 2009, Bethlehem, PA

This year is the most ambitious campaign to date: One Billion Rising.




On Vday’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. Vday wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, and our solidarity across borders. In this movement, Eve even includes those who are mobility compromised! See video to learn dance “Break the Chain”:

In 1986 I found myself in an abusive relationship. I had become one, of the one billion. This is why I participate in Eve’s Vday Movement. If my presence, my voice, my face, can help just ONE girl, then I’m in.

Performing a Vday Monologue 2010, Artsquest, Bethlehem, PA

Performing a Vday Monologue 2010, Artsquest, Bethlehem, PA

The numbers among people with disabilities is even higher. Often times, the person they target is in some way disabled, giving the abuser a false sense of empowerment simply because they are picking on someone who can’t protect themselves or fight back. If you ask me…THAT is a sign of weakness.

People who abuse are looking for power!

I can tell you firsthand:

1. It could never be your fault. The mind of an abuser is broken, and no matter how hard you try…you can’t fix it.
2. There will always be a, next time.
3. You can count on family, a friend, a friend of a friend or a coworker to help you be safe and ultimately, leave. I did.
4. Being able to get out may take some planning but, once you realize that the first three things I’ve said are true…get busy.

This may take more than one attempt. DO NOT give up on yourself!

Having said that, I realize EVERY situation is different and usually, complicated. Each person must make the BEST decision for themselves at the time. Disability complicates things to the tenth degree. Abuse can include depriving women of medication and routine care. It can include total isolation from friends and family members. It can include sexual abuse, ranging from rape to forced sterilization. These patterns of abuse almost always involve imposed control and the use of coercion and threats; physical violence does not have to be present for a relationship to be abusive.

Outreach is critical; those of us who are able to, listen, check on, care for or shelter a victim, must look closely at our disabled loved ones and friends. Ask questions when concerned. Everybody might not be able to help all of the time, but, the one time you can, will surely make a difference in a victims life; maybe even save it. Let’s not forget about our male victims. This abuse is hardly one sex fits all.

Remember, abuse is about power.
You can take yours back!

Performing a Monologue for Vday 2010, Bethlehem, PA

Performing a Monologue for Vday 2010, Bethlehem, PA

I am including some links under “Domestic Violence and Disabilities”that I think contain VERY pertinent information. I hope they are helpful.




Filed under Domestic Violence and Disabilities, MS and Domestic Violence

Today I met Mary

Mary’s Story
I’ve spotted my table for the day and put my things down but I’m much more interested in what the lady has at the table next to me. I lean in on top of her an say “hmm, Positive Discipline, I think that’s great! I’m a huge believer in all things positive especially when it comes to discipline. I used to be a school teacher and I’ve raised two kids and I’ve used it in lots of different ways.(all in one breath) Do you mind me asking who you’re getting these books for?” Her name is Mary, when she starts to talk I ask, “Do you mind if I sit down?”… I have a friend for life.
I was in my favorite book store and cafe. Coming here is one of the ways I fight depression and its one surefire defense against isolation. I always talk to strangers, I can’t help it. And if there are no suitable strangers, I just visit with my friends the “Young Barristas” and write.
As it turns out, Mary’s daughter has been with a man for only two years, recently marrying him. She has a son, eight years old, and this man (now the stepfather) mistreats her son, in the name of discipline. This is all according to other family members (Mary’s brother). Mary’s never witnessed it herself, and this man is who the books are for.
WHOA! Mary…unless you want to be an EX mother in law over night, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Clearly, with Mary and I being the instant best-friends that we are, she confides in me and I counsel her. She tells me all about him, and he doesn’t sound like a very nice guy at all. (The voice in my head says…”okay spit it out already, he sounds abusive!”) I share with Mary (I’m sure it seems quite random) that I had been in an abusive relationship when I was young. From what she has told me, this guy has shown many of the warning signs of an abuser already. I shared with her how important my families support was in me finally being able to end that relationship. Family and a good therapist! Never stop being a listening, loving, ear and KEEP the therapy discussion on the table. At some point she will hear you.
Mary’s daughter has not told her that her new husband is abusive. Mary never told me that her son-in-law was abusing her daughter; I just got a bad feeling in my stomach about him. When Mary got up to leave she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Well-Being, MS and Depression, MS and Domestic Violence