How Do We Protect Our Daughters With Disabilities From Abuse?

We allow men of authority into our lives because why wouldn’t we? Celebrities, clergy, teachers, doctors—all intelligent, successful, well respected, and charming men—why wouldn’t we trust them?

It’s hard to believe it when they turn out to be monsters.

I have to wonder what happened to make them this way? You know that something happened. Somewhere along the way an incident or prolonged exposure to something dark or painful twisted them away from normal and decent.

Despite what happened to them in their formative years, what they are inflicting upon others now is not okay. More than that, it’s humiliating and hurtful. It’s a hateful cycle that needs to end. 

All women are at risk, but our daughters with disabilities are exceptionally vulnerable. 

My daughter is beautiful, inside and out. She’s kind and loving and completely naive. She could easily fall prey to a monster disguised as a human man.

How do I protect her online and in daily life?

How do I teach her to respect and trust adults whose job it is to keep her safe at school and in activities and programs, but also council her to be cautious?

How can she be wary when her eyes only see the good and her heart is always wide open? 

According to Statistics Canada, women with a mental health related disability or a cognitive disability are over four times more likely to report having been a victim of sexual assault than women without a disability. source

As the #MeToo movement rages on, and the deplorable treatment of women is revealed, the true scale and scope of abuse is alarming. Like all mothers of young girls, I worry. 

Predators have gotten away with their abusive behaviour for far too long. So thank you to all the brave women and girls who have shared their painful experiences, in an attempt to hold their abusers accountable.

You are giving a voice to every woman who has been taken advantage of. You are sending out a message to all that this behaviour is wrong, unacceptable, and criminal. 

Thank you for speaking up so that our daughters whose disabilities put them at even greater risk, are safer.

Safer, but not safe. 

Our special daughters are never completely safe. 

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin 

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