Create Your Safety Shield

Reprinted from PN December 2002

The prospect of violent encounters is everywhere. You do not have to be an easy prey; disability is not synonymous with victimization.

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When someone grabs you, it is important that you understand his vulnerable points. If the situation warrants, correctly pulling his arm over your shoulder could break his elbow.

"I was born with spina bifida," says Richard Diamond, L.C.S.W. "When I was in elementary school, a few bullies constantly harassed me. Either from ignorance or apathy, the school did nothing to stop the teasing, and I shied away and took it. Fortunately, no physical altercations occurred. But, when I reached high school, these same bullies became more physically aggressive. During the first half of the school year, the administration again did nothingand neither did I.

"A family member told me I had to confront the ringleader. After seven years of enduring verbal abuse and doing nothing about it, I became fed up. I realized the bullies were 'all mouth,' and the only way I would feel good about myself was to deal directly with the problem."

In the December 2002 PN/Paraplegia News, read Diamond's story about what he did to earn the R-E-S-P-E-C-T of his schoolmates and the hands-on program he developed that teaches people how to identify and avoid violence before it occurs.


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