Kendall could tell by the slam of the door that Mark was in a foul mood. She was sitting on the couch in the living room of their small apartment reading her book, with her wheelchair positioned beside her. She looked up, and saw the expression on his face that signified that this evening wasn’t going to be a peaceful one.
“Did you make dinner yet?,” he said curtly.
“No. I was just about to get up and do so,” she uttered in a meek voice.
“Damn it, woman. I work this hell of a job all day. At least you can have a hot meal waiting for me when I get home!!,” he yelled while leaning forward to get in her face.
Kendall let out a small whimper while Mark glared at her as he proceeded to walk towards her wheelchair. He shoved it across the room, and gave her a sadistic smirk.
“How are you going to go make dinner now without your precious damn wheelchair?!?!,” he barked in a condescending tone.
“Please Mark, just give me my chair back. I’m sorry,” Kendall sobbed as Mark continued to tower over her, making her feel inferior for the 1,000th time.
“You’ll learn one goddamn day to do what’s right! You do this on purpose to make me angry!,” Mark shouted as he raised his hand in the position to hit her, but the threat of being smacked alone was enough abuse for him to inflict on Kendall that day. Seeing how small she felt, he jerked the chair back toward the couch, and stomped off.
Why do I keep putting up with this? Kendall thought to herself. I feel so trapped by being here; I have no friends, no job, or money to support myself – how much longer do I have to endure this? With shaky nerves, she locked the brakes on her wheelchair, transferred herself into it, and wheeled to the kitchen to make dinner, all while tears streamed from her eyes.
This fictitious narrative is sadly the situation many disabled women endure from their significant others every day in America, and across the world. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I thought that this would be the opportune time to spotlight the silent epidemic that is killing and destroying the lives of the disabled women we love, work with, and who bring incredible joy to our lives.