312 Chapter 14: Abuse, violence, and self-defense
Communities can prevent violence and abuse
When a community believes that abuse is a terrible thing, it is rare for a woman to
be abused. When disabled women are important members of the community, few
disabled women are abused. But in places where communities believe that disabled
women are not worth much, many more women with disabilities are abused.
Provide help for women who have been abused, especially women with
disabilities. Rape crisis centers, emergency homes, shelters, and other programs
against abuse and violence can include special programs to help women with
disabilities. Make sure the buildings are accessible and that appropriate information
is available for blind and deaf women, and for women with learning difficulties.
Health centers, schools, counseling centers, churches or elders in the community
can help care for the mental health of people who have suffered abuse. Counseling
can help people who have been abused regain their confidence, self-esteem, and
Educate and involve men in discussions about why abuse is wrong. Make sure
the police and other community officials understand it is
never OK to abuse disabled women. Employ people who
know the local sign language in all community services,
such as police stations, clinics, and hospitals.
Recruit women to be
police officers and
give them special
Learn about the laws in your country that protect
women who have been abused and explain them
to others. Arrange public meetings of women,
training in helping
women who have
including women with disabilities, to discuss and
protest violence and abuse against women. When women with disabilities, health
workers, and others in the community talk openly about these problems and work
to end violence, it makes all women safer from abuse.
A woman should be
trusted if she says she
was abused. She should
be supported, no
matter who she is.
Abuse is not just a family
matter. Abuse is a social and
community health problem.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007