DAWWWN

Deaf Abused Women Warrior's Web Network

As a deaf survivor of multiple abuses, I have created this site for deaf victims and survivors of abuse (Sexual Abuse, Molestation, Incest, Child Abuse, Neglect, Rape, Domestic Violence...) This website is especially for DEAF ABUSED WOMEN women who are reclaiming their lives whether they were abused as children or adults.

WELCOME TO DAWWWN, you are here among many on a courageous healing journey. DAWWWN is for us, for hope, for encouraging each other, supporting each other: The victims, the survivors, the strong of heart who hope to free ourselves from the past, free ourselves from whatever communication barriers might hold us back and light the path for others on this same personal healing journey. There is peace in sharing and knowing that when times are painful, we are not alone. We strive to be free from the past, free from guilt, free from the burdens that we grew up with and free from living in the shadows of fear.

Most people think they are alone in this, but surveys reveal that in the United States, one women is beaten every 15 seconds. One in 2 women will be in an abusive relationship in her lifetime. Women with disabilities are two times more likely to be assaulted in their lifetime than women without disabilities. One in 4 girls are sexually assaulted before age 18. Some were also victims of ritual abuse. One in 3 women will be raped during her lifetime. One in seven men have also been the victim of sexual abuse. One in seven married women is a survivor of marital rape. In 1997 over 3 million children were reported for child abuse and neglect to child protective services agencies in the U.S. Twenty two percent of the reported children were physically abused according to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

Sullivan and Knutson's study of 1012 maltreated disabled children in the year 2000, revealed that Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have twice the risk for neglect and emotional abuse, and more than 4 times the risk for physical abuse compared to children who are not disabled. Children with speech and language disabilities have 5 times the risk for neglect and physical abuse and 3 times the risk for sexual abuse. And Tovah Wax, Ph.D., C.S.W., who is deaf and staff chair of psychological services at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester institute of Technology (NTID/RIT), Rochester, NY, says that approximately 25 percent of their clinical population reports having been sexually abused.

In some cases deafness is caused by abuse. Each year nearly 10,000 women and children become permanently hearing impaired from being struck on or near the ear. Deaf adults face the additional burdens of intense isolation caused by inaccessibility, communication barriers and a lack of accessible information about available resources, limiting contact with the police, court systems, health care, shelters or safe places.

Many survivors go through life thinking they did something wrong, or they could have done something to stop it. We are not to blame! Each of us had our own unique way of coping and did our best to get through tremendous pain. It takes courage and determination to survive abuse, to struggle through all the communication barriers and take back our lives.

Many times we can feel caged in, like there is no way out, but there is a way out. This website is a place of strength and unity where we can be ourselves in the company of others and safely experience all the pain, tears, anger, rage, confusion, loneliness, and growth that we may still be keeping bottled up inside. This is a place for us to share our journeys with others who were forced down the same path.

People may say that it's time to get over it, but remember, your world as you knew it was ripped away from you. You were forced to carry burdens that others have not. Whether the abuse was from someone close to you, or a stranger, the healing process is still the same. You get over the pain when you are ready, and not a minute sooner.

I read recently that an estimated recovery time for sexual abuse victims can be anywhere from 2 to 10 years, or longer depending on the extent of the abuse. It has been over 20 years for me and I am still healing. It's not easy, and it's not fast. The process is never actually over. All the pain that you may be feeling, is completely natural. We as a community of DEAF SURVIVORS can offer encouragement to eachother in our process of reclamation. Always remember that you are not alone! You are in good company!

I am not a professional, I am a deaf survivor of multiple abuses working on reclaiming my life, recognizing my own personal power, living my life without the fear and releasing myself from the hold of my past. It is possible! It can be done! Many of us have done it! We CAN survive, get past the pain, learn to trust again and enjoy life to the fullest! We strive to continue on a life of new beginnings.

I hope you feel very comfortable here. I created this site with the hope that we as a community of deaf survivors can shed light on this painful subject, and provide a safe place to share our hearts, the lives we have lived, and how we have gotten to where we are today. I hope to include information on many different ways of healing through traditional and non-traditional therapy, spirituality, dreams, psychic work, political action, community service, artistic expressions, body work and massage....

**Some things may be unsuitable for children due to their descriptive explanations of child abuse and rape. Some people may find the topics here very difficult to read or even triggering, but I believe these things need to be said.**


The Truth Shall Set You Free!

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DeafDeb 1998 - 2004