I was born with congenital multiple impairment. I was showered with hate yet I tried my best to fight the fear that swallowed me due to family negligence. But my wings were just not strong enough to fly, so I flew where the wind carried me.
As I grew older the stigmas surrounding me were agonizing, but I paddled my way through and had a good educational background to help push me forward. Still, the feelings that would wash over me from other people’s anger and hatred was an ocean I could not cross. I was drowning and could not save myself. But in this eerie silence I learned to love it. An escape. No more words, whispers or shouting being thrown at me.
Darkness was everywhere, I was numb with the fear of trying to rise up. I could not walk my way out, it just seemed impossible. But in the distance, I saw a light and knew instantly it was hope. With every piece of strength I could muster, I stood up and aimed towards the light. Everything that had held me down, everyone who had tried to use my weaknesses against me, had now become my personal strength.
For all of the children who are considered unfortunate, who have an impairment, a disability, or a stigma attached to their identities; I will be the change. I am writing to try and be the change I want to see.
Vulnerable people are defined as those who have a high chance of poor health, as a result of barriers they experience that can be derived from social, economic, political or environmental factors. Other limitations a person may face can be due to an illness or a disability.
While on the other hand, violence is an act involving physical force with the intent to hurt or kill someone.
In communities, vulnerable groups of people have no power and it affects their relationships with almost everyone around them. And so, people abuse them because they think that they have no voice in the community. This is what makes them vulnerable. An extreme misuse of power by people around them.
They experience violence in many forms such as:
- Physical violence: for instance, slapping a child with a disability repeatedly because they cannot do what you have asked them to do.
- Sexual violence: for example, raping someone who is deaf, forcing children to engage in sexual activity.
- Economic violence: denying the elderly access to sufficient amounts of money for the things they need to live, often this money can be their own but controlled by someone else.
- Psychological and Emotional violence: for example, a gay person may be stigmatized within their community and face verbal taunts, insults and worse. These words can impact upon how a person feels about themselves, causing anxiety and suffering with mental health. Left untreated and without support this can lead to tragedy such as suicide.
Something is missing. We all have the choice to help lift up the voices of the vulnerable yet they are often silenced or ignored. I guess that is why I believe inclusion must be everybody’s language for real change to happen.
So please, leave no one behind.