308 Chapter 14: Abuse, violence, and self-defense
What you can do to be safer
Having a disability does not mean you have
to accept that you are weak and must always
Never believe you are alone.
depend on others. You can learn to defend
You are part of a world-wide
yourself against the many ways you may face
movement of women and
abuse, violence or sexual assault.
men who are working to end
You can begin by preventing people from
violence against women.
giving you ‘help’ you don’t want or need. This
is one way you can show people your strength and your ability to speak for yourself
and make your own decisions. Although the person offering “help” may not be
trying to harm you, do not be afraid to tell them to stop, even if they seem annoyed.
If there are other people nearby, speak loud enough so they can hear you too.
Practice being firm but not necessarily rude to people who may offer you genuine
but unwanted help.
When men believe they are free to touch you, they
may think they can easily take even more advantage
of you. If someone touches you without your
permission, say the following 3 things to the person:
1. “You are touching me.”
2. “I don’t like that.”
3. “Take your hands off me.”
If the person holds your arm, or starts pushing
your wheelchair, say firmly and loudly:
“You are pushing my chair.”
“Don’t push my chair.”
“I don’t want you to do that.”
“You are holding my arm.”
“Don’t hold my arm.”
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007