154 chapter 7: Sexuality
Sex after sexual abuse and rape
If a woman has been sexually abused or
raped, it usually takes a long time for her
to feel good again about her body and
about sex. Long after the physical signs of
the violence are gone, the woman carries
emotional hurts and bad memories.
For more information about sex after
sexual abuse and rape, see page 305.
If you lack desire for sex, try imagining the things that give you sexual pleasure.
Sexual thoughts and fantasies can help you see yourself as a woman who has
desires. They can also help you build excitement, which can make your vagina wet
and help you enjoy sex more. Fantasy can be something you think about alone or
something you share with your partner.
Working for change
Changing community beliefs and attitudes about sexuality and the right to sex for
women with disabilities can take a long time. But over time, they can change.
It is important for a woman with a disability to feel good about herself.
A woman who values herself will be more likely to expect a partner to respect her.
What disabled women can do
• Educate ourselves about
sexuality and our own feelings.
• Talk with other disabled
women or other women we
Refuse to be in
relationships with anyone
who does not respect your
trust to learn more about
sexuality. Even if we did not learn about sex when we were
growing up, we can always learn more now.
• Advise each other on ways to understand and enjoy our
• Form or join a group with other disabled women to support and value each
other’s sexual and family life.
• Advocate to include disabled women in all education about sexuality.
• Advocate for respect for the sexual needs of all women.
• Find ways to express our sexuality and celebrate who we are as women.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007