This morning I had an experience that left me feeling fearful, vulnerable, and anxious.
I was out running errands and as I was walking out of the store, through the parking lot with my cane, a lady stopped her car as I was about to enter the intersection and said ” Ma’am, be careful, there has been a man following you”. My heart began to race and as I walked to my bus stop all I could think about are the ways that I could handle someone if they really did come up and try to attack me: spill my hot tea all over him, hit him with my cane, ect. Was she telling me the truth?
I was really scared.
Having this experience made me think about the fact that I am a visually impaired woman. I have never looked at myself from the perspective of being weak or someone who could be taken advantage of. I am a strong, capable, woman, and no one can take that away from me. But, this experience made me stop and think. With all of violence, crime, and horrible things that happen in this world, maybe this is something I should prepare for. Maybe I should take a self defense class or carry a bottle of mace.
I can’t let one little incident make me fearful just to go out, but it was a bit of a reality check.
I was curious so I looked up some statistics. According to the Department of Justice, 13 out of 1,000 woman with visual disabilities are victims of violence which is a decrease since 2009 where the rate was 22 out of 1,000 woman.
For those with visual impairments or those without, what are your thoughts on these types of situations? What do you do?