State Independent Living Council Discussion Archive

NATSILC: Comments On DomesticAbuse Programs

Posted by: Lou Diehl
Date Mailed: Tuesday, April 29th 2003 05:33 PM

From: "Kristen Castor" <>
Subject: Re: NATSILC: Seeking Information On Domestic Abuse Programs
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 12:13:44 -0600

    Upon reading your email, I contacted the Family Crisis Center in Pueblo,
CO where I live.  It is sponsored by the YWCA and housed in a historic
building, which was remodeled using money for restoring historic sites.  It
has a ramp, an elevator, and rooms that will accommodate wheelchairs.  Staff
confirms that they have served women who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes,
and women who are blind or visually impaired, but these women must be able
to care for themselves.  When I asked whether a woman could have an
attendant come in, I was told that this would be a violation of
confidentiality, but that this issue had never come up before.
    Usually, at a juncture like this, I expect staff to say, "Oh, we never
thought of that.  Maybe we ought to look into it". When I pointed out that
this would make the center inaccessible to women with severe disabilities,
the counselor I was speaking to became very defensive, insisting that the
center is not a nursing home.  She used the word "hospice," but apologized
for using the wrong word when I objected.  I was not accusing the center of
being accessible, I was simply trying to educate them.  I have encountered
this attitude whenever I have tried to bring up disability issues with this
woman.  The message is, "We are a shelter for victims of domestic violence
only.  If you are so disabled that you can't get out of bed that's your
problem."  I cannot seem to break through this wall and your request
indicates that I'm not the only one with this problem.  I have requested a
copy of their policies and will pick them up this afternoon.  I've already
been told that there is nothing about people with disabilities in them.  Is
there a mailing address I could send them to?  Depending on what kind of
information I get, I'll see if there is a statewide organization I can
appeal to.

Kristen Castor

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