Posts Tagged ‘Abuse’

Adrienne Livingston on Power & Control

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Sex Trafficking… probably not a topic you’d expect to hear on this podcast. Perhaps that’s because you don’t make the connection to disability. But every issue can be viewed through the lens of disability.

Adrienne Livingston, Director of Anti-Sex Trafficking for World Ventures joins me on the podcast to discuss this important topic and its relationship to disability.

Learn about the techniques used to persuade unsuspecting men and women into a life of prostitution. Even if you feel there’s no way this could ever happen to you or anyone you know and love, you need to listen. Many of these same techniques are used in cases of domestic violence.

TW/CW:
If conversations referring to physical or emotional violence are triggering,
perhaps you want to skip this episode and go back in the archives for something lighter.
However, this episode is specifically about the importance of being educated as a means of prevention.
This is not about sensationalizing or trying to shock the audience.
I’ve been mindful and intentional about what is included.

Listen

Resources

Transcript

Show the transcript

[sound of a person walking outdoors, then a car opening, keys going into the ignition, and a car starting]

Thomas:

I worry about the women in my life. As best as I possibly can,
[slow ominous ambient beat begins to fade in]
I encourage them to be security minded and always be aware of their surroundings. Especially when alone.
Follow what to me sounds like good advice, such as, try not to have a need to get gas at night, especially at an isolated station.
Always be on full alert, when in mall or store parking lots.
Whether the various stories that circulate are true or not, I encourage my ladies to be mindful. Be on the alert, if there’s a van parked next to you.
Don’t stop to pick up what appears to be money on the ground. It can be a trap. Yeah, even if it’s $100 bill.
These suggestions just don’t apply to women. But the fact is that human trafficking, sexual trafficking does predominantly affect women.
I thought we should talk about it here on the podcast.
If conversations referring to physical or emotional violence or triggering, perhaps you want to skip this episode, and go back in the archive for something lighter.
However, this episode is specifically about the importance of being educated as a means of prevention.
This is not about sensationalizing or trying to shock the audience. I’ve been mindful and intentional about what is included
I’m Thomas Reid, welcome back to read my mind radio.
[the car stops, keys are taken out, and a person closes the door as they begin to walk]

Reid My Mind Radio Intro music

Sounds of an indoor cafe or restaurant.

Adrienne
I was 40, I believe at the time and I ended up being at this cafe meeting a friend to talk about work in business. I was dressed professionally, you could definitely tell I was an older person, not a teenager.
And when I was getting ready to leave, a person actually approached me. He had like a white crisp t-shirt on with jeans and a baseball cap.
He said, “Hey, you have a pretty smile.”
I said, “Oh, thank you”.
And he said, “I have a movie studio. And I think you would be great. You should give me a call sometime.”
And I thought “okay, cool.” So he gave me his business card. But then I looked down at his business card, what I was looking at was images of dollar bills in the background. And I thought “that is so tacky.”

TR in Conversation with Adrienne:
Still a little curious when arriving home, she pulled out that card and checked out the website.

Adrienne 03:29
This is I don’t know about nine years ago, the website I entered took me all of a sudden to a Myspace page.
I thought, “Okay, this is obviously very shady, very tacky. Obviously, I’m not contacting this person.” And so I ended up throwing the business card away.

TR:
Six months later, she’s invited to hear a presentation from a lawyer on the topic of sex trafficking.

Adrienne:
She was basically giving the profile of pimps and on the PowerPoint presentation she was sharing.
All of a sudden, I see dollar bills in the background. She said they have images like these. But then she also followed that up by saying and they recruit on Myspace,
I thought, “oh my god, I was talking with a person who could potentially be a pimp and or trafficker.”
That experience, especially now that I’m working in this industry to prevent it and to fight it is to say to parents don’t think that this won’t happen to your child, because I’ve had some that say, oh, no, this would never happen to them.
The fact is, it could it is a possibility. When I speak with youth on this matter, I say even I as an adult woman have to be careful.

TR:
My guest today is Adrian Livingston, Director of anti sex trafficking initiatives with World venture.

Adrienne:
I am a light skinned African American woman with green eyes, brown hair, in dreads about shoulder length.

TR:
Those scenarios where we need to be on high alert, described at the top of the episode, while important to be aware of, they aren’t the typical techniques used by traffickers.

Adrienne 05:06
I think mainstream media has really glamorized that trafficking is kidnapping, there’s a movie Taken.

[scene from Taken plays]
If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you, I don’t have money. But what I do have a very particular set of skills, Skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go, now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you.

Kidnapper:
Good luck. [phone hangs up]

TR:
Well, kidnappings do occur, traffickers have much more subtle techniques to lure their potential victims. As we’ll see, that actually means the special set of skills required to save these women are more easily attained than those used by Liam Neeson in the film.
[piano r&b track plays]
First, though, let’s get familiar with some of the techniques which present their own challenges to recognize, like boyfriend.

Adrienne
where you have someone who you think is interested in you wanting to be your boyfriend. But you don’t realize that while they are wining and dining you, paying for you to get your nails done or buying your new clothes, he’s actually grooming you.
And especially if it’s a person who may have low self-esteem or just really likes this guy and does not want to lose them.
And because he’s been giving them these gifts, he might then say, you know, I’ve been contributing, I’ve been giving you all these gifts, and you need to now contribute.
You need to go do this for me.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 06:55
That showering of gifts and attention is not only alluring, but such as a common desire perpetuated in our culture.

Adrienne 07:01
I think when people think of trafficking, you think, Oh, it has to be happening over there somewhere else. They have to be transported somewhere. Yes, that happens. But you can actually be trafficked and exploited in your own city,

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 07:13
a young girl was trafficked while living at home with her parents.

Adrienne 07:17
She had a person pick her up at 2am go out and traffic her and then bring her back home 5am. Her parents had no idea what’s happening.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 07:25
Her dad was a cop. It’s hard to believe that such a thing is possible. But we need to understand that traffickers are well versed in manipulation, and blackmail, and an understanding of the law.

Adrienne 07:37
Gangs are actually selling I’ll say individuals, because again, it can happen to girls and boys. It’s harder to prosecute. If a person is picked up for prostitution, compared to drugs or arms.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 07:50
We’re talking about the differences between the sale of goods and services ownership of the “product” in this case, a human being remains with the trafficker or the pimp.

Adrienne 08:00
You can have one girl that makes you residual income. And it’s harder to prosecute, even if that girl gets picked up for prostitution, it will be harder for law enforcement to prosecute, because you can’t lock up evidence that’s human.
But if they get picked up for selling drugs or arms, it’s easier for law enforcement to prosecute, you can lock the evidence away because it’s drugs, guns, arms, etc.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 08:29
Another technique used by traffickers is blackmail, or demanding payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them. Consider Adrian’s story of being invited to a photoshoot. Traffickers use drugs to control these women. And let’s just say take all sorts of pictures.

Adrienne 08:48
And if you don’t want those pictures released, then you must do what I say. And that means you’re going to go make me money in this form of selling your body for sex, and you’re going to bring me my quota, which is an amount that they have to bring home nightly or daily. It could be $300, could be $2,000. But they have to bring it home. Otherwise, there could be a real fear of punishment.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 09:10
The majority of those being prostituted are cohurst. For some, the entry point is poverty, as in this is the only option available to feed their children.

Adrienne 09:18
I do get pushback like oh, there are some people that want to do it. I’m like, You know what, there are some that do but I’m working for the 90% that don’t.
I’m working for those that don’t have a voice. I’m working for those that if they could prevent it if they could do something else that they would.
This is one industry where seven years you can be dead whether it’s from homicide from your pimp or trafficker to a buyer disease, pregnancy, so much trauma.
They actually have studies that demonstrate that those who have been prostituted have PTSD. There’s a book called The Body Keeps the Score. You’ve had those that have come out of prostitution and are survivors but it’s still hard for them to be intimate with their partner because of the trauma the experience because they had to have sex with so many individuals a day.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 10:00
Now that we are aware of some of the tactics used by traffickers to find their victims, which remember can include men as well as women. What groups are most vulnerable.

Adrienne 10:11
Youth is definitely one of them. You have those that may already come from a background that’s broken. You also have immigrant refugee population, you have someone whose sheltered, their parents have sheltered them so much from what’s happening, that they could be easily lured. Those that are in the foster care system. That’s already the child that has left their family for whatever reason that’s broken going into a broken system.

TR: 10:40
We know that all of these vulnerable demographic segments also include disability. Consider this story from the National Human Trafficking Hotline,
Ominous ambient music begins

Adrienne 10:48
This person who had a developmental disability was recruited from a recreational and vocational training center. So their trafficker posed as a boyfriend.
This person basically was planted in this vocational recreational center, and made the victim believe that the counselors, their friends, their family members, these people in her life did not want her to be an independent adult.
And this trafficker, quote unquote boyfriend, used her fear of being treated as a child against her that caused her to be isolated.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 11:22
That’s just one of many tricks used to control a potential victim, keeping you away from those who truly have your best interest at hand, and can spot the manipulation

Adrienne 11:32
In that time that he was with her basically convinced her to get engaged in commercial sex from their home.
People with disabilities, they may be desensitized to touch because of isolation, a part of the isolation or sheltering, they may have a lack of informed sexual education. They may not even know what constitutes as a crime or constitutes as someone not touching them appropriately. What are their rights? They don’t know.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 12:03
Think about all of the misinformation around disability, the discrimination face, the ableism that’s just a part of our culture. How multiple marginalized identities can greatly increase the level of vulnerability and exposure to abuse and the increased likelihood of not being believed.

Adrienne 12:21
They know that sometimes this person who has a disability, if they tell their friends and their family that these things that they may question are happening, their friends or family may not believe them. You basically help this person, this perpetrator, this trafficker, this pimp, be able to exploit this individual with a developmental disability.

TR: 12:44
We see that when factoring in race, social and economic status, law enforcement is less likely to believe, but they even go as far as to criminalize survivors of sex trafficking.
According to the FBI, 50% of minors arrested for prostitution in the US are black, suggesting that black miners are overrepresented in trafficking survivor populations, and or that law enforcement disproportionately targets black child sex trafficking survivors.
Consider the case of Cyntoia Brown, born with a cognitive disability fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. She was abused by 32 people by the time she was 16.
Running away from an abusive relationship, she was approached by a man who was seeking a prostitute. While with the man in his bed, she feared for her life, she shot and killed him. Yet, prosecutors painted her as a murderer out to rob without any consideration of her full situation.

[clip from Netflix Documentary, “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story]
Today in 2017, Cyntoia Brown would be classified as a sex slave, a little child manipulated, who didn’t stand a chance against the men who used her. But that wasn’t the case in 2004.

Adrienne 13:50
We as a culture, have to treat all humans as humans, we have to allow all humans, all individuals to have a voice. And we have to believe them and not second guess them.

TR: 14:04
Protect by educating as opposed to sheltering, teaching appropriate behavior and setting expectations for how we should all be treated.

Adrienne 14:12
Whether it’s a mental, physical, intellectual disability, they just may not know for whatever reason, if part of it is lack of information or having their voice heard. We really need to assess ourselves from friends, families, culture, to make sure that these individuals have what they need to get the care that they need, and support that they need.
The common age of entry into being trafficked not the only age, but a common age is 12 to 16 years old.

TR: 14:44
That’s middle school, and high school. We’re talking about a $150 billion industry.

Adrienne 14:51
This is a 2014 statistic from the International Labor Organization, human trafficking, which incorporates all types of trafficking. So sex trafficking gangs, labor trafficking, organ trafficking. So two thirds of that 99 billion came in from this issue that we’re talking about today of sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking is the second largest international criminal industry behind drugs. So it goes drugs, human trafficking, and then guns and arms.

TR: 15:21
It’s an international business that preys on vulnerable populations. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that countries with large rates of poverty are highly affected.

Adrienne 15:29
I lived in the Dominican Republic, when I lived there, I definitely did not know about this whole issue of sex trafficking and exploitation. But I recall, now that I’ve learned about it, hearing always, oh, the women, they are being wined and dined by these German men that come over the Sugar Daddy. Basically, scenario, these girls are being trafficked and exploited. Because they are in poverty, they didn’t have an another way to make money, they don’t have an education. That was how they were able to survive.

TR: 15:58
The blatant and honest truth of it all, is there’s one constant that can predict where you’ll find some version of sexual trafficking,

Adrienne 16:05
Wherever there are men, this definitely is there.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 16:09
And those interested in trafficking, are trained to exploit whatever they can to get what they want.

Adrienne 16:17
Basically, pimps say, once I get a girl to have sex, I’ve got her understanding that when one has sex, there is a hormone in your body that’s released called the bonding hormone, oxytocin, you’re literally bonding to that person, especially if you like them. He knows that once he does that, he can ask her to do anything, it can be, go give my friend a blowjob things that she may or may not know that money is being exchanged.
Next thing you know, because you don’t want to lose your quote, unquote, boyfriend, all of a sudden, you’re in this industry of being trafficked. There are some that don’t realize that they’re actually being trafficked and exploited.

TR: 16:58
The term pimp has changed over the years, away from his true definition of someone manipulating a woman by force or psychologically to something synonymous with glamor, or improvement.

[clip from MTV Pimp My Ride]
I’m 24. And this is my ride. So please, and TV, please MTV, please. Pimp my ride!
Check out your brand new ride.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 17:25
Damn and I can’t even sit here and act like I don’t rock out to some of the music.

[Big pimpin’ by Jay Z plays in the background]

That’s my jam!

But damn over 40% of those lured into sex trafficking, are said to come through pimps.

Adrienne 17:38
With pimping culture, you have someone that is treating a person as a commodity as an animal.
our culture doesn’t really consider that this pimp can actually harm this person. You have the finesse pimp, but then you have a gorilla pimp, someone who’s just going to rule with a heavy hand.
Imagine you being the person that’s the victim, having a gun held to your head caught. So you really are fearful for your life.
So when you think and understand the word pimp, why do we have Pimp My Ride? Pimp my pancake, all these things that refer to pimp as a positive thing when really innately it’s negative?

TR: 18:19
Pimp psychology is even promoted as a means of pickup or finding women,

[Pimp speaking] 18:23
Most of the people who approached me, like in the pimp game, they’re not asking how to be pimps, they mostly come to me about how to approach women.
What do you think I say to a woman in 30 seconds to make her want to sell her body on a corner from me for 12 hours is certain power and language and this you use, but when I teach guys this, I don’t teach them so that they can go out and do that. I teach them so that you can be the guy at the bar. I said, I’m five foot seven. And I don’t think I’m the most handsome man in the world. Watch me leave with all the women in this party. And it won’t take me five minutes.

Adrienne 18:51
Is that power and control dynamic? I can control this person. Look, they’ll do what I say.

TR: 18:57
Chances are high that anyone with a physical disability has experienced some level of someone trying to exert control over their body.

Adrienne 19:05
And not ever thinking, “Can I get the permission to touch this person?” I think our culture just sees someone and automatically wants to be like, Oh, let me just help you without even asking and getting your permission. Like wait a minute, don’t do that.

TR: 19:19
And when it comes to disabled women, this unfortunately occurs much too often enough to warrant what amounts to a social media campaign to bring awareness to the problem. Shout out to Dr. Amy Cavanaugh, in the UK, @blondehistorian on Twitter who started #JustAskDontGrab, bringing awareness to this issue of being touched without a person’s consent.

Adrienne 19:41
I think that’s one of those things, to have to educate to give them words if they’re like, you know, I just don’t know what to say to this person or to say no, you could say “oh, don’t touch me.”

TR: 19:52
Empowering people with disabilities through education and awareness, are ways of taking back control. But yeah, So, how often do we hear about this topic through a disability lens? What organizations are out there?

Adrienne 20:05
I was able to find information from Polaris Project, that is one. Then they list the National Human Trafficking and Disabilities working group.

TR: 20:15
NDRN or the National Disability Rights Network, National Center for ending abuse of people with disabilities, are some others. I’ll include a few resources on this episode’s blog posts, At reidmymind.com. The point of the scenario from at the top of the episode is that we have instincts that we have to tap into.

Adrienne 20:34
If there’s something that’s fishy, there are sensations that are going on your body like butterflies in your stomach, listen to that. So if it’s like a flyer on your car, leave it there. You don’t need to pick it up right then and there drive off because it could be someone that’s waiting for you to do that.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 20:50
That gut intuition or feeling that something is off isn’t just about preventing physical harm.

Adrienne 20:55
If you can prevent it from happening, you are preventing a lifetime of trauma, making sure that that person whether child or adult is then educated on what does it look like?
What does it look like when someone is trying to manipulate you?
They need to understand and see what does even isolation look like? Having someone say, Okay, this secret is between you and I. Now, sometimes secrets can be good. It’s like keeping a secret from someone having a surprise party.
But other times, it’s a secret because they know if you were to tell they would get in trouble.
Having them understand their rights, having them understand what is not appropriate touch. And when it comes to a point where oh, what this person has done is wrong. And you need to report that making sure that should someone report something happening, that they are listened to and not dismissed for their disability, having them being educated on sex education, boundaries, healthy and unhealthy relationship characteristics, not just sexually, that’s anyone whether it’s a caregiver whether it’s a friend, whether it’s a family member, having them understand the power and control dynamics, there’s a power and control will that talks about emotional abuse, financial, sexual, physical.

TR: 22:16
How about a little description…

[rewinding sounds that turn into a hip hop beat]

Adrienne 22:21
It’s kind of like the center of the wheel and then the different spokes shooting out and then it’s surrounded by the tire. Power Control is the very center of the wheel.

TR: 22:30
See, image descriptions aren’t just for the web, and audiobooks. The specific segments of the wheel will the spokes help drive power and control. I’ll mention the category and Adrian will explain further. First, coercion and threats

Adrienne 22:45
Threatens to harm the victim or family threatens to expose or shamed the victim threatens to report to police or immigration.

TR:
Intimidation

Adrienne:
Harms other victims children’s or pets, emotional abuse, humiliates in front of others calls names, plays mind games.

TR: 23:02
We talked a bit about this one, but it’s really important. Isolation

Adrienne 23:06
Keeps confined, accompanies to public places, creates distrust of police and others.

TR:
Denying, blaming, and minimizing.

Adrienne:
Makes light of abuse or exploitation and denies that anything illegal or exploitative is occurring.

TR:
Sexual Abuse

Adrienne:
Uses sexual assault as punishment or means of control forces victim to have sex multiple times a day with strangers.

TR:
Physical abuse.

Adrienne:

Shoves slaps, hits, punches, kicks, strangles, burns, brands, tattoos, so much in the physical abuse.

TR:
Using privilege

Adrienne:
Treats victim like a servant uses gender, age or nationality to suggest superiority.

TR:
Economic abuse

Adrienne:
Creates debt that can never be repaid, takes money earned, prohibits access to finances and limits resources to the small allowance, all of this to give as examples of how someone is trying to maintain power and control over you.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 24:05
Wow, these are all equal size.

Adrienne 24:07
Exactly. Now, they don’t give any of them weight in the sense of what’s more or less, and they don’t name everything. So for example, there is crazy making an example that I know is you know, because basically, you have items and ornaments on your banister or say above your fireplace. If you have one.
And you know you set it there but then you go to bed you wake up in the morning, you go back down and it’s move and you’re like Wait, I didn’t move that and you ask your partner did you move it? He’s like, No, I didn’t move it.
You have different things like that happening where they’re making you really feel like you are crazy.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne:
Is that also gaslighting?

Adrienne:
Yep, gaslighting domestic violence is a part of this too. Oftentimes, the same things are used to hold power control over someone in sex trafficking very same in domestic violence. So when I am teaching, I’m trying to help prevent both from happening.

TR: 25:01
Adrienne herself had an experience where now very ex-boyfriend planted spyware on her phone. It enabled him to listen in on conversations, and even track her location.

Adrienne 25:11
He tried to do the crazy making. He tried to intimidate me. He tried to isolate me, thankfully, intimidation, the isolation, that didn’t work.
But I know now what that sounds like, because he’s the one that used it with me. And this is what I actually share with young girls. When they’re trying to isolate you it doesn’t sound like they’re trying to isolate you what it sounds like, and what he actually used was “oh your friends and family, they don’t get me. Can you and I just hang out tonight?” That doesn’t sound so bad.
But you keep saying that message over and over in different ways all of a sudden, and you’re like, oh, yeah, we can do that. All of a sudden, he started to pull you away. But thankfully for me, I said, Okay, well, you don’t have to hang out with them. I’ll see you later!

TR: 25:48
She saw signs from feedback she received from her best friend. And, you know, I have to give a shout out to her dad. Because yes, dads can tell too y’all.

Adrienne 25:58
For those that have fathers, and not everyone has one. I do understand that. And that even those that do may not have healthy fathers. But mine is and when mine met him. He later told me he’s like, “Yeah, I don’t like him. I don’t trust him. He couldn’t look me in my eyes.” As a man he saw something I didn’t.

TR: 26:21
That’s perception, We know when someone is uncomfortable in our presence, especially when we’re used to being “othered”.

Adrienne 26:32
I think growing up and not having a thumb, that gives me a different kind of experience. Not having a thumb has not disabled me in any way. But what it has done is I see other people’s reactions. So when I see someone and they shake my hand or they do something and then they realize I don’t have a thumb. I definitely see it on their face. They’re like, Oh, I’m so sorry. I don’t consider it a disability. I’m actually glad I was born this way that has allowed me to see the world differently. Don’t pity me. This is the life I have. This is the only life I know. I’m blessed. That’s my story. That’s all I can say.

TR: 27:12
Actually, she could say much more.

Adrienne 27:15
A really good friend Susanna Mars introduced me to audio description last year, I have been trained to audio describe live shows. And also I’ve gone through another training to be able to describe TV or film.

TR: 27:30
While she’s writing and narrating. We can kind of tell she’s someone who knows how to use her voice.

Adrienne 27:35
I would say my focus right now is narrating.

[a clip begins from a film]

Man 1: Want to take them home? Three thousand each
What’s going on here?

TR: 27:48
As we know this power in films.

[clip continues]
What’s been happening?

Adrienne 27:51
to you promise you can stop these men promise.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 27:56
Another reason why access is so important. In fact, it was a spontaneous decision to watch a film called The whistleblower that inspired Adrian to get involved.

Adrienne 28:06
I like Rachel vices an actress and I was at the red box. And like all that, I didn’t realize that it was based on true events.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 28:14
Specifically, the experiences of Katherine bulk of back in Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post war Bosnia. And out of the UN, covering up a sex trafficking scandal,

Adrienne 28:26
she was seeing that there were girls that were being trafficked and exploited, she tried to alert the United Nations to what was going on. Unfortunately, she found that some of her very colleagues were not only participating in the sex acts, but they were also alerting the traffickers when rates would occur so they could move the girls. What made me so mad is that she actually got let go as a peacekeeper from the United Nations, but her colleagues had not those that should be the protectors were the very perpetrators and help other perpetrators get away with what they were doing. The United Nations, you as a system were allowing this to happen. Oh, I was so mad. Then I started researching because I thought I want to get involved. Then I saw oh, wait a minute. It’s happening here in my own backyard in Portland, Oregon. You just have to understand the context.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 29:21
She started to talk to other people learning more and figuring out how to get involved

Adrienne 29:25
that led to a conversation with World venture that ultimately led me into having this job. Once

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 29:31
again. That’s director of anti sex trafficking initiatives with World venture where she continues to educate

Adrienne 29:38
one curriculum that I’m really working to grow and to help equip youth leaders of middle and high school girls and it is with a biblical framework is our girl empowerment curriculum. That’s both a sex trafficking and domestic violence prevention curriculum. You can find more information about that on my website, justice, hope, freedom. dot com. Facebook is also justice, hope, freedom. And then on Instagram at JH F ministry.

TR in Conversation with Adrienne: 30:11
I’ll never forget this one afternoon. It was during my initial return home from the hospital after becoming blind. I was taking a nap when I heard the screams of my daughter and my nieces and my driveway. I was startled, jumped out of my bed to see what was going on. It was just playing a screaming like little girls do. I had a hard time though at that moment because I couldn’t figure out what I would do if something were actually wrong. I couldn’t jump in the car and track down the perpetrator, you know, be a superhero. That’s not to say that blind people can’t defend themselves. But it is to say that from my conversation with Adrian, the true power is being informed. Being educated. Protection doesn’t come from sheltering. If you’re a parent of a disabled child, a teacher school administrator, consider the potential danger you may inadvertently put that child in by keeping them uninformed. Rather, why not find the appropriate and accessible ways of including that child in conversations about sex, consent, and the realities of people that will not hesitate to take advantage of them. You may want to take a strong look at your concept of protection. Ask yourself if ableism has anything to do with your decision to deny that child access to information. And while I’m on that topic of denying access to information, Miss Adrienne Livingston. Not only do I appreciate your willingness to come share your expertise on the podcast, but I feel pretty certain that we will all benefit from this knowledge and perspective. We hope to hear from you again. Perhaps as the voice describing some content on one of the streaming networks. Well maybe back here on the podcast, you need to know you are an official member of the Reid My Mind Radio Family.

And you know you too can be a part of the family by making sure you subscribe or follow wherever you get podcasts. We have transcripts and more at ReidMyMind.com.

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Reid My Mind Radio outro

peace

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