Help Ms. Wheelchair Florida!
Organized by: Stephanie Lynn
Hi! I'm Stephanie, your Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2014, and I am going to the Ms. Wheelchair America competition which will take place in August in Long Beach, California!
Any funds raised here will go towards helping me travel around the state of Florida to advocate for and educate about Disability Rights!
I use pretty pink wheelchairs (Yes, all of my wheelchairs are pink!), but don't let my choice in colors fool you - I am a sassy, passionate disability rights advocate and I want to win the Ms. Wheelchair America competition so that I can help educate about, enforce, and expand the rights of people with disabilities!
My platform is ending violence against women with disabilities. Women with disabilities are at least twice as likely to experience domestic violence and sexual assault as women without disabilities. If you think about that, that means if 1 in 4 women without disabilities experience sexual assault and domestic violence, then 1 in 2 women with disabilities experience it. That is not okay.
There are many problems that need to be addressed in ending violence against women with disabilities, including making shelters physically accessible and changing shelter policies to allow women with disabilities to seek refuge there. We need to educate people on how to help women with disabilities. We need to find ways to get information to women with disabilities without their abusers finding out. We need to educate women and girls with disabilities about sexual assault.
We need to reach out to women in institutions who are being abused by staff members and are afraid to speak up because the staff may retaliate and hurt them. We need to reach out to women in relationships who are afraid to reach out because their partners who abuse them also help them with showering or getting dressed in the morning. We need to reach out to women with intellectual disabilities who may not fully understand that they have been abused or sexually assaulted. We need to reach out to women with mental illnesses who have been abused but are afraid to reach out because they think no one will believe them.
There is so much to do and it can be overwhelming, but I believe the first step is creating awareness of the problem and working together to find solutions. If I am crowned as Ms. Wheelchair America I will dedicate my year to working to end violence against women with disabilities.
In order to stand a chance at ending domestic violence against women with disabilities, I need to travel around to spread the message! I hope you'll help me! Even the smallest amount makes a difference and will be greatly appreciated!