The Addiction to Power and Control Known as Domestic Violence Domestic Violence And The NEED for DisABILITY Awareness

Domestic Violence, DisABILITY and His Addiction

domestic violence wheel

Three subjects. But they are all related. Honest

Domestic Violence kept making no sense to me until I saw it as an addiction. But that came later.......many states later. But my story began with a dear male friend, after a few weeks of my remarriage, asking me as a trained social worker, hadn't I had classes/field work with Domestic Violence? "Yes." "Well I challenge you to get on the internet, and LOOK IT UP AGAIN because that is what I am seeing here. The cycle of abuse is building. Whether or not he has hit you, it is only a matter of time." Thank You David A. I am alive today thanks to you !

And I knew that the police won't do much because they abuse twice, nearly thrice in some studies, more than any other occupation, only one close is the military, of course.

And the District Attorney where we were won't prosecute white collar white males, because he told me verbatim "I HAVE MY RE-ELECTION TO CONSIDER" Yep, he really did this in Lansing Michigan, where doctors won't see women either. Michigan! CHANGE YOUR LAWS

disAbility plays in because shelters believe much like schools did 20 years ago, that the ADA does not apply to them. True that is. It's 504 which came 20 years BEFORE the American with Disabilities Act and upon which ADA is based.

The laws whether receiving federal funding -Regulation 504 of 1973- clearly state that an EXTERNAL AGENCY must determine that which is REASONABLE ACCOMODATION, not the agency providing the services themselves. That is what this law is all about. Woe unto her who knows them. Shelters, when told this, tell the victim THAT SHE MUST LEAVE. Because they won't allow anyone else to tell them about anything, disability or otherwise."Houston, We Have A Problem"!

However, if a learned (and usually MUUUUUCH older, if around 30 or so) client comes in, they just call CHILD PROTECTION. I even went the the Mental Health Center because I wasn't being allowed to rest, having to listen to them whine about so called "Ageism" because they are, well, immature, and egocentric. I was thinking "LET ME REST, I JUST DROVE 2,000 MILES ON AN INJURED PELVIS. I NEED SLEEP. IT'S WHAT THE DOC ORDERS, DAILY". They demanded the psychiatrist TELL her what we discussed. When she refused, I was told to leave. But OH THE STORIES nearly all the employees HAVE about the shelter, and how dysfunctional THE SHELTER itself is.

Women shouldn't be punished for leaving abusers. They should be praised. I have yet to have this happen except one shelter, and they couldn't handle the disablity stuff either. Defended the staff who ruined my daughter's birthday because an auto mechanic told her that I couldn't recharge my GEL CELL (used in premie nurseries at hospitals). My daughter's Celbration of Womanhood (13th B'day) was ruined. Another one never came. She is a very angry and bitter person now, from all we have endured. Can we 'blame' it all on this? No. That's just when the bitterness began. I have never seen my daughter since. A bitter rageful person sits in her place.

And oh yes, a woman decided that my specific disability (written up now in medical journals galore) didn't exist. This was in Berkeley, the capital of Persons With Disabilities Awareness! So I was told months later that I had to return the money I got for homelessness. [WE WERE!] Because to quote her precisely "It didn't matter how many different health agencies or homeless agencies call me, I KNOW that she is NOT hard of hearing, and is faking it, and that she didn't come to her appointment(sitting there, not hearing, she did not make eye contact or speak in front of my view so that I could read her lips). I still have to pay it back, for that reason!

Women should NOT be punished for leaving, they need to be praised.

And then there is the addiction paradigm. I was sitting in my van pondering things and.....suddenly I saw the light. When I realized THAT is what's behind it all, I sat up so hard that I bumped my head on the roof of the van I was driving. [That burned and of course, Ford won't admit to any wrongdoing. All those Econoline Vans with the faulty ignition switch, just spontaneously burned on their own, coincidentally, doncha know!] Please if you know of the lawyers handling this case! And if you DO NOT have an anonymous email address, I highly recommend getting one. Then when you wish to find safety, you will have it.

But I recognized that jealous woman's behavior (I didn't see it. Men? Blech !At that phase of development, sorry guys). I realized that she was just as addicted to his Power and Control Issues as he was, for it seemed to feed her ego somehow, as HE was addicted to needing Power, and the Illusion of Control. The only one we can entirely control of course, is ourself.

We can make shelters accessible, not only to Persons With DisAbilities, but to women of ALL cultures, of language barriers, of all skin shades or sexual preferences.

But many shelters now believe that old myth that Domestic Violence HAS GOT to be connected with poor Budgeting, and of course some kind of substance abuse (you or him). I had to TELL a woman born and wed in India , that what her husband had done was rape her. That here, forced sex is RAPE. What did the shelter tell her? FOLLOW OUR RULES. THEY STILL GIVE OUT NO LITERATURE ON HOW TO HEAL from the abuse.

Shelters have now become systems which need the client, in order to survive. All needs go toward the shelter, not the client. In a family they call that Dysfunction OUT OF CONTROL. And that is how more and more are seeing our shelters.

Many are filled, and women simply have no place to go. This is terrifying.

But a worse thing happens now. When a women goes to a shelter, is more abused there than she was at home, and many know this in counselor's offices, IF she returns home (and where else will she go, chances are extremely high that her family of origin is abusive) then the abuse will increase Because the Batterer is OUTRAGED that she left. He may show remorse for a bit...but eventually the rage all comes out. [How DARE she DO this to ME with my REPUTATION to PROTECT?]

We can and must change this. We MUST make it possible for women to leave and flee. WE can do it. And together we will find funding for this.

The COMMUNITY needs to be more involved regarding educating the staff on the numerous disabilities which exist. It's not hard. I have a plan.

Shelters need External Supervision. I have seen direct abuse of other survivors by STAFF MEMBERS. There was nothing I could do. And racial bias doesn't get checked at the door either. Supervisors are not always present. But what if the worst offender IS the SUPERVISOR herself?

These are all problems we can solve with a little initiative, and an amassement of collective angst.

ANGST? Yes, angst.

I am OUTRAGED that a woman can not leave and find help in some of the most progressive states in our nation. I needn't begin to ask about those less inclined.

But women can't leave IF WE DO NOTHING. And if women don't leave, we then become responsisble for those women, like myself DYING. Had I remained, I have no doubt that I would NO LONGER be here, to write this webpage. The beginning of my story is actually found on Blainn Nelson's Webpages

I don't want what happened to my family to happen to anyone else EVER!

And if you think..." IT CAN'T HAPPEN TO ME. I WILL LEAVE. I WILL FIND SHELTER!" You will find that this is simply not always possible. But DO keep trying, and you will find a way. But even without visible disabilities most shelters are full MOST of the time. Sadly today's shelters are not ready or willing to COPE with Disability Culture and Lifestyle. Instead they say with a sniff of disdain and great condescension, "Isn't there a PLACE for your TYPE? Hmmmm?" My type? A Surivor ! Someone with a desire to Live? And brains which work well enough to not much miss the legs which are failing? No. They see a chair. Not a Person sitting in one.

Then you are me, in my situation, and thousands of other women's as well. And you must HELP those, please, who have traveled that awful road of no support....when support is needed the most. Each woman who leaves her batter and then returns, does so because of our society. The shame society gives is stronger than the support she receives. It's just that simple. It is time. Time to move. Time to stop this cycle by valuing EVERY woman who leaves, and helping each shelter to become inclusive.

NOW it is time to do something about it. Wanna HELP? It is easy, and you can make a difference. Honest. Because I would not be here writing this today, had others not helped me on my journey, not in the shelters as much as once I left on my own. Your hand, your acceptance, your love...can change lives.

Copyright November 4, 1999

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