296 Chapter 14: Abuse, violence, and self-defense
Women with different abilities can
exchange or trade work if they each
do something they are good at.
• Do your work with other women. People are less likely to threaten you or
treat you badly where other people can see. If you are hurt in a public place,
other women may be too scared or ashamed to do anything. But you might be
able to get help from these women later.
• Reach out for support from other women and with community groups if you
or someone you know has been abused.
• Talk with a health worker if you have been physically hurt.
Abusers often break down a woman’s self-esteem, making her believe she (and
her children) will be unable to survive without the abuser. Remember, you can
survive without the abuser.
See page 308 for ways you can defend yourself against violence.
My husband always said he had done me a
favor by marrying me. Since my family was
poor, he accused me of marrying him for his
wealth. He told me I would never be able to
get another partner, and he abused me. After
consulting women lawyers and talking with
my husband’s relatives, I decided to leave him.
A woman in my community was physically
abused by her husband after she gave birth
to a disabled girl. Eventually, she made the
decision to go back to her parents’ house and
get out of the marriage.
For my friend, the abuse started when she became
disabled. Her husband refused to help her and started
sleeping with other women. My friend went back to
her family, where she received love and good care. Her
condition improved and she became healthier and
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007