Sexual assault and rape 301
If you are deaf
Women who are deaf or have trouble speaking can have a harder time getting help
if they are raped or abused. Even though she may be able to describe her attacker,
if no one understands her sign language, she will have a difficult time explaining to
others what happened to her and who did it.
When I went to the police because my husband was beating
me, they did not understand my sign language and they were
impatient with me. My co-wife defended my husband, and no
one believed me.
If someone you know has been raped or abused
If you are talking with a woman who has been
abused or raped, reassure her that you will listen
to her. Tell her to take as much time as she needs
to explain what happened.
I believe you.
It’s not your fault.
I will help you.
• Reassure her that it is not her fault.
• Be supportive. Listen to her feelings, help her
decide what she needs, and reassure her she
can go on with her life.
• Respect her wishes for privacy and safety. Do
not tell anyone unless she wants you to.
• Go with her to see a health worker, to report
the rape or abuse to the police, to talk with
someone trained to listen and support her, to
see a lawyer, and to go to court if she wants to
do those things.
• Do not protect the rapist if you know him. If
possible, let other women know about the man. He is a danger to every
woman in the community.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007