Gender,  Gender Based Violence,  Intimate Partner Violence,  Mental Health,  Relationships


In most cases, women with disabilities may not think they are being hurt by their intimate partners just because they are not being hurt physically. Emotional and verbal abuse can really take a toll on one’s being. This can leave one with both short-term and long-lasting effects that are just as serious as the effects of physical abuse. Emotional and verbal abuse can be seen and experienced in many forms like; insults and attempts to scare you, isolating you, or controlling you as a woman with disability. It is also often a sign that physical abuse may follow if there is no action to either confront the abuser or to walk out of such a relationship. Emotional and verbal abuse may also continue if physical abuse starts. If you have been abused, it is never your fault, it becomes your fault if you decide to put up with the abuse even after learning that you are being abused.


How Can A Woman With Disability Tell That She Is Being Emotionally And Verbally Abused?

You may likely be going through emotional and verbal abuse in your relationship if you learn that your partner is doing one or all of the following to you;


1.They want to know everything you are doing all the time and they want to stay in contact with you all the time, in most cases, some women with disabilities may mistake this to be care and concern from their partners.


  1. You may be a victim of emotional and verbal abuse the time you learn that your partner wants your secret information like passwords to things like your phone, email, and social media, this can also be termed as digital abuse.


  1. As a woman with disability, the moment you learn that your partner acts very jealous in anything to an extend that they are accusing you for cheating or spending too much time with your friends, then you are being abused emotionally and verbally.


  1. A partner to a woman with disability who works hard or tries to prevent her from seeing her friends and even family is an abuser.


  1. As a woman with disability, you need to be keen and alert, when you notice that your partner is starting to prevent you from going to work or school, then you need to know that you are being abused emotionally and verbally.


  1. Some women with disabilities find care givers in their partners, and a partner may end up feeling that they are doing a woman with disability some form of favour by being in their lives to an extent that they even start bullying and over controlling women with disabilities.


  1. As a woman with disability, the moment your partner gets angry at you in a way that is frightening to you, then you are being abused.


  1. Economic independence and privacy in spending one’s money and wealth is a right of every individual, as a woman with disability, the moment your partner starts to control all your finances or how you spend your money, you should seek help or simply move out of the relationship.


  1. Every woman with disability, just like any woman in the general population, has a right to medical attention and consultation. If your partner, as a woman with disability, prevents you from seeing a doctor, then your partners is clearly abusing you emotionally.


  1. Human dignity is an experience that every individual woman with disability should enjoy, being treated with respect is not a favour to any woman with disability. As a woman with disability, when your partner humiliates you in front of others, he is clearly abusing you.


  1. Self-esteem of a woman with disability is an important asset that no one has the right to trample on. When your partner, as a woman with disability, calls you insulting names e.g “stupid,” “disgusting,” “worthless,” “whore,” “fat” etc, then this is a clear indication that you are being abused emotionally and verbally.


  1. Women with disabilities, their pets, their assistive devices and the people they care about are so important in their lives. When your partner threatens or tries to hurt you, mishandle your assistive device or hurt the people you care about, then that is an abusive partner.


  1. Most intimate partners to women with disabilities are seen to want to be the only people in the lives of women with disabilities so that they get a good chance to oppress them without interference. This leaves women with disabilities with feelings of guilt in case there is a disagreement between them. This is the moment the partner will even threaten to call the authorities to report a woman with disability for wrongdoing with an aim of intimidating them so that they continue dominating them and controlling them. If this happens to you as a woman with disability, you should know that you are being abused.


  1. Some partners take time to learn the weaknesses of the women with disabilities they are in relationships with. They have clear plans of what to say when there is a disagreement so as to exercise power over women with disabilities. If your partner threatens to harm himself when upset with you, then you have a clear sign that you are being abused emotionally and verbally.


  1. If your partner, as a woman with disability acts in a way that communicates that they are the only person you can be in a relationship with, this is an indication of abuse. They may use words such as “If I can’t have you, then no one can”


  1. When you are in a relationship and you notice that your partner always wants to decide things for you, including things that you should decide for yourself like what to wear or eat, then you need to know that you are being abused.


  1. In some cases, if not all cases, women with disabilities fail to differentiate between an abusive partner and a caring partner. A woman with disability internalizes abuse and feels guilty for feeling bad in a relationship. A loving and caring partner is one who empowers you and gives you your space to live an independent life. If you notice any sign of unhappiness in the relationship then you need to seek a second opinion and understand the situation. Abuse in a relationship is not as a result of a woman having a disability. If someone wants to love you, they will not make you feel vulnerable and desperate for their love. And if they do so, then there is no love, that is clearly an abusive relationship that needs one of these two things;


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