A young Texas woman with cerebral palsy was whipped and beaten by her father for downloading games and music — and she stealthily recorded the whole thing, then posted it to YouTube. A major wrinkle is that the girl’s abusive father is allegedly Aransas County Court-At-Law Judge William Adams.
The video is incredibly disturbing, graphic and violent; I only watched a few seconds before shutting it off. It’s safe to click through to the Gawker link, but don’t watch the video if you aren’t prepared to see prolonged and horrific abuse.
This video was shot in 2004, and she’s been hanging on to it since then. She’s a brave woman for putting this out there, and it has reportedly been forwarded on to Child Protective Services and other relevant authorities. It’s not clear whether she still lives with her father, but I hope that this helps her to get as much distance from him as she needs.
This is also a good time to point out that people with disabilities are the victims of abuse at a rate 4 to 10 times that of the general population. People with disabilities often can’t report abuse, or feel like they can’t because reporting may mean losing a care-taker. When they do, they’re often disbelieved, or the abuse isn’t taken seriously. Since abuse often comes at the hands of a caretaker, authorities are often hesitant to follow up, or don’t consider the abuse “that bad” — the reasoning being, I guess, that care-taking is hard and often frustrating work and so we should give care-takers a little more wiggle room, even if that “wiggle room” includes abuses and violations.
Simply reporting the abuse that this woman suffered should be enough. But unfortunately, for a lot of people with disabilities, speaking out doesn’t solve the problem. Good on her for making sure people notice.
Thanks, Tom Foolery, for the link.