by milla — she=he
i found a love test online http://www.lovecalculator.com/ :
i’m really trying my best with farty hermit cave at the moment, but my attention is drawn to the scene and the real world. Dr. Love, please tell me what to do!
by Milla — she=he
For many years I’ve identified with this song, and I still do. For me it’s about the beautifully confusing process of opening up to love in relation to another human being. Love being a place of connection and feeling at home – connected with all that is. As well as being a space of vulnerability: A state of emergency – How beautiful to be 🙂
From Björk’s perspective, it could also be a song about – Iceland.
by Milla — she=he
The Action Plan can be read in Finnish, Swedish, Russian and English when clicking on the pdf links of this page.
I struggle with guilt very often – a conflict within myself between wanting to share, and needing rest. I keep educating myself. I go to seminars in Helsinki, and throughout the years, I notice in these small circles, the same faces, and keep thinking that it would be useful to share at least a bit of the knowledge I receive at these events. I can’t say that I’m the most concentrated listener in the space, and after years in this country, I still struggle with the language. I miss video cameras recording what is going on – for persons to have an opportunity to get tapped into the event through youtube at a later occasion. I say to myself “I have a blog” and that at least I could make an effort and post something there. And then time passes, and I never get around to actually do something about it. There are events I’ve been to that I keep thinking, years later on, that “it would be useful to share”. So, today I will try something different. Instead of spending endless hours thinking about it, I will take those hours right now, and write it. It will not be an accurate rapport of what happened, just some short things, and some link to info for the ones interested in finding out some more.
Today I was at a seminar called: Vammainen nainen ja väkivalta (Woman with disability and violence)
Here’s a link to a text in Finnish about a previous event with the same name. It was said that there would be information about this event at the same address: Invalidiliitto ry – Naistyöryhmä
Valtakunnallinen vammaisneuvosto (The National Council on Disability VANE),
Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (National Institute for Health and Welfare),
Invalidiliitto ry (Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities), and..
Vammaisjärjestöjen naisverkosto (Women’s Network of Disability Organisations)
From the back of the program of the seminar:
“Studies have shown that women and girls with disabilities are more likely to be subjugated to violence or the threat of violence, than women and girls without disabilities. However, the violence towards women and girls with disabilities is a great taboo. The silencing and ignoring of this matter needs to come to an end.”
Women with disabilities have many struggles. As persons with disabilities they are often seen as having no other aspect than ‘Disabled’ by the norm, and a part of the struggle for women with disabilities is to have themselves recognized as ‘women’ – fit for motherhood, and with a sexuality of their own. It was said by the moderator at the event – a woman who is visually impaired – that when she got married, the people at the wedding were congratulating her, saying that she was ‘really lucky’ to have managed to get a man without disabilities, while the husband got to hear no best wishes from the family and relatives – the only person congratulating the man for ‘a great catch’, was a previous teacher of the woman. At the seminar it was said that women and girls with disabilities are usually not encouraged by the people around them to live the life of the norm – education and family are not seen as for persons with disabilities, and that the expectations of living a ‘disabled’ life creates a dis-encouraging atmosphere, tearing down on the self-esteem of the individuals exposed to it.
It was said that there are many aspects missing to support women with disabilities in their choices. For instance, a mother with disabilities can go to great lengths not to ask for assistance from the authorities in relation to childcare, for the fear of having her child taken away from her. An example mentioned of this, was a woman recovering from surgery, needing someone to get the child from kindergarten a few times a week, and the response from the authorities being to take the child into custody, making a decision based on the prejudice that women with disabilities are not fit for parenting.
There were different speakers, and two occasions with questions and comments from the people attending the event. Some of the current debates on violence in Finland are in relation to some recent changes of the law, where previously, women with less ability to defend themselves during a sexualized assault for example by excessive use of alcohol, or having a physical or mental disability, would not be categorized as rape, but as a ‘lighter’ form of sexualized abuse, thereby showing the societal norm of men as having a ‘natural’ ‘uncontrollable’ ‘predatory’ sexuality, and women being the ones ‘responsible’ for stopping rape by putting up enough resistance. — A society where the strongest survive and the weak are available and unprotected for the ones who wish to take that advantage.
Other segments of the law that remain unchanged, and open for debate: The occurrence of sexualized abuse in institutions (for example hospitals and care centers) or where the person is in a dependent position to the other (I would assume that this means care-takers) is again interpreted as ‘less grave’, and therefor providing the perpetrator with a certain degree of protection. Women and girls with disabilities are especially exposed in this case, since they face a higher degree of sexualized violence in institutions, and by people they are dependent of.
It was said that it’s important to do preventive work, by providing girls and women with disabilities the awareness of what is an accepted, appropriate way of touching, and what can be counted as a violation of their boundaries, when receiving assistance, examination or care, and to have this information communicated in many forms, for instance, braille, sign-language and in plain language. Many remain silent about the abuse they face by persons in the care-professions, for the well-grounded fear of not being believed. There is a strong taboo in relation to persons in this profession being capable of, or possibly even seeking out these professions to abuse. Someone in the audience wanted to break the silence in relation to the care-sector being a space for predominantly women and pointing out that women in these professions are responsible for sexualized abuse of women and girls with disabilities.
There was more talk of what is considered to be ‘more’ or ‘less’ violent according to the law, and a concrete case of a woman being beaten with a bat, and two months later on was hit in the back of her head with a hammer by the same person, and that this according to Finnish law was seen as less ‘grave’ because of the choice of weapons (a firing arm or blade, would have been regarded as more ‘severe’).
It’s common that the disability of the woman is the target of assault. If the woman is visually impaired – she will be hit in the face. If her disability is with her back – then her back, and so on.
Even harder to define and have recognized, is the violence of power and psychological abuse occurring within families, where women with disabilities are often in a dependent relation to the persons causing them harm. A case of a woman having a fight with her partner, and the man the morning after, denying the woman help to get out of bed, and she waiting in bed until her personal assistant arrived for the afternoon-shift. There are many cases of care-takers and relatives denying care, and using over-dosage of medicines and tranquilizers, as a means to control women who do not behave in the way they want.
Once again, the norm seeing the person as nothing but ‘Disabled’ prevents women and girls with disabilities to get the help they need to deal with violence and sexualized assault. One woman was starting to fear physical violence in her intimate relationship – she was sensing it ‘hanging in the air’, and when trying to speak with people about it, she found no support, but this fear was instead attributed to her disability – her ‘condition’ – and it wasn’t until she saw a show on television on the topic of violence in intimate relations, that she found the support she needed – a person on the show was saying that a good time to leave a relation is when you notice your mind circling around reoccurring thoughts about the threat of physical violence – finally she got some affirmation that she wasn’t ‘crazy’ and was able to get out of the relationship.
Women with disabilities are, for various reasons, believed to have more difficulties than the norm to seek help and to leave abusive relations. It was talked of the importance of removing obstacles to women’s shelters, making them accessible. As well as improving low threshold options for women with disabilities to search for help – for instance through internet.
There is a project, a plan, to have a handbook on women with disabilities and violence ready by the year 2013. Hopefully more changes have come about by then.
The moderator and speakers at the seminar — Sari Loijas (Valtakunnallinen vammaisneuvosto), Tuija Brax (Oikeusministeriö), Minna Piispa (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos), Pia Puu Oksanen (Amnesty International), Tuula Tuominen (Valtakunnallinen vammaisneuvosto), Pirkko Justander (Invalidiliitto ry) Performance — DanceAbility Finland ry
Printed on the back of the program of the seminar, in Finnish:
VAMMAISJÄRJESTÖJEN NAISVERKOSTO 10.3.2011 Vammainen nainen ja väkivalta — seminaarin julkilausuma vammaisiin naisiin kohdistuvan väkivallan ja hyväksikäytön tunnistamiseksi, ehkäisemiseksi ja torjumiseksi:
Tutkimusten mukaan vammaisen naisen tai tytön mahdollisuus joutua väkivaltaisesti kohdelluksi tai sillä uhatuksi on paljon todennäköisempää kuin vammattomien naisten tai tyttöjen. Siitä huolimatta vammaisiin naisiin ja tyttöihin kohdistuva väkivalta on mitä suurimmassa määrä tabu. Vaikeneminen ja asian sivuuttaminen on lopettava.
Ehdotamme seuraavia toimenpiteitä vammaisiin naisiin kohdistuvan väkivallan ja hyväksikäytön tunnistamiseksi, ehkäisemiseksi ja torjumiseksi:
– Vammaisen naisten kohtama väkivalta ja hyväksikäyttö sekä niiden uhka on nostettava yhteiskunnallisen keskustelun aiheeksi
– Vammaiseen naiseen tulee asennoitua kuten muihinkin naisiin; vammaiset naiset eivät ole sukupuolettomia olentoja
– Vammaisiin naisiin kohdistuvasta väkivallasta on saatava lisää tutkimustietoa
– Vammaisille tytöille ja naisille tulee turvata seksuaaliterveyteen liittyvää tieto-taitoa ja ymmärrystä niin että tyttö/nainen tietää mikä on sopivaa ja mikä sopimatonta koskettamista vammaan liittyvissä avustamis-, tutkimus- ja hoitotilanteissa sekä kuntoutuksessa. Tietoa tulee olla saatavilla erilaisilla kommunikaatiomenetelmillä (esim. pistekirjoitus, viittoma- ja selkokieli)
– Pari- ja lähisuhdeväkivallan sekä lastensuojelun piirissä työskenteleviä ammattilaisia pitää kouluttaa kohtaamaan vammainen asiakas ja antaa tietoja vammaispalveluista. Vammaspuolen ammattilaisia on koulutettava tunnistamaan vammaisen asiakkaan kohtaamaa väkivaltaa tai hyväksikäyttöä tai niiden uhkaa sekä ohjamaan asiakasta eteenpäin
– Puhelimitse ja netin kautta saatava apu on usein helpoimmin vammaisten naisten ja tyttöjen saavutettavissa. Näitä palveluja tuleee kehittää ja myöntää niille varoja
– Turvakotien saavutettavuutta on lisättävä poistamalla rakennetun ympäristön esteitä. Turvakoteihin hakeutuneille vammaisille naisille on oltava tarjolla heidän tarvitsemaansa henkilökohtaista apua.
– Rikoslakia on uudistettava niin, että vammaisuutta tai vammasta johtuvia olosuhteita ei koskaan tulkita tai määritellä väkivaltarikosta lieventäväksi tekijöiksi. Vammaisiin naisiin kohdistuvat rikokset on käsiteltävä lähtökohtaisesti virallisen syytteen alaisuuteen kuuluvina, eikä uhrin painostuksen mahdollistavaa “vakaan tahdon” -pykälää tulee käyttää
– Opaskirja siitä miten vammaisten naisten kokemaa henkistä ja fyysistä väkivaltaa voidaan tunnistaa ja miten heitä voidaan auttaa on laadittava vuoteen 2013 mennessä kuten Naisiin kohdistuvan väkivallan vähentämisen kansallisessa ohjelmassa 2010-2015 ehdotetaan
suunnittelija Tuula Tuominen, naistyöryhmän sihteeri Pirkko Justander
Vammasjärjestöjen naisverkoston kuuluvat seuraavat järjestöt ja tahot: Aivovammaliitto ry, Invalidiliitto ry, Kehitysvammaliitto ry, Kuuloliitto ry, Kuurojen Liitto ry, Kynnys ry, Me Itse ry, Näkövammaisten Keskusliitto ry, Suomen CP-liitto ry, Suomen Evankelis-luterilainen kirkko, Suomen MS-liitto ry, Suomen Reumalitto ry, Suomen Vammaisfoorumi ry, Valtakunnallinen Vammaisneuvosto (VANE) ja Vammaisten maahanmuuttajien tukikeskus HILMA ry
Suomen Vammaispoliittinen Ohjelma VAMPO 2010 – 2015 (The link in Finnish for Finnish Disability Policy Programme VAMPO)