We made the decision quickly. Without even much of a second thought. What with the International Day of Mourning and Memory, and all the posts regarding that day, there has been so much emotion expended. Along with that, I've been doing a literature search on people with intellectual disabilities as witnesses in the justice system. This is in preparation for doing an article demonstrating that Self Esteem, Sex Education and Abuse Prevention classes taught to people with disabilities give them the words with which to tell what has happened to them and the self esteem needed to fuel courage in making and allegation and in testifying. We've got strong data to show that this works.
But, my oh my, the research is a bit bleak. It was shortly after reading a study that showed that if you give a written account of testimony to one group, telling them that the witness had an intellectual disability and exactly the same written account to another group telling them that the witness had typical cognition (I don't remember the words they used) the group who had been told that the witness had a disability rated the witness as non-credible and the group who had read the same testimony believing it was a typical witness saw the testimony as credible. Incredible? Incredible. Anyway, much of the research is about that kind of thing. But that was the one that pushed me over the edge.
Yesterday, for my sake, and for the sake of you as readers, I wanted to lighten up a little bit here on Rolling Around in My Head. It's good to look at life straight on , but it's also good to see good. But that study had me sit back in my chair at my desk at work, pick up the phone and call Joe to say, 'I need to go see Ruby and Sadie. I need a hug from the kids.' Joe agreed instantaneously, and it was all set up. We go tomorrow night. I'm more delighted than you can imagine.
I have a tendency towards both depression and anxiety. Not a debilitating tendency but those twin demons can rob me of the ability to experience joy. Given that I work, so often, in the area of abuse - even though it's abuse prevention, life can get dark for me. Given too, that working on this paper has had me reading articles that are basically about how people with intellectual disabilities can be shut out of the justice system, not because of the disability they were born with but because of inability thrust upon them by forced ignorance and denied information. Imagine that a police office, already predisposed to see those with intellectual disabilities as incompetent, interviewing a woman who talks about how a man put his 'thingy' in her 'woo woo'. He will assume that that language is due to disability. He will not know that her disability was the cause for others to deny her the education from which she could have developed vocabulary. We've demonstrated that 'thingy' becomes 'penis' and 'woo woo' become 'vulva' in ONE TWO HOUR CLASS. We've demonstrated that passivity becomes assertion in ... Oops, I'm ranting.
Anyways, I'm halfway through the journal article now, I've got the data all done, I've got the literature review finished, I've got the introduction written. And through all that, I've managed to get myself right, royally, rueful. So, I'm going to get a Ruby Hug and a Sadie Hug and probably a Mike and Marissa Hug too. We'll spend the day with kids in a noisy kid place and then a day in a museum and then we'll come home. Monday I'll finish. I'll have pushed off all the darkness and be ready to write about solutions not problems ... which is the frame of mind I need to be in to write the next part of what needs to be written. The ... OK that's the problem ... ta, da, here's a solution. I shouldn't be doing this, I don't have time to do this, but I have to do this ... does that make sense?
So tomorrow it's video-conference ... hi to you folks up in the North, if anyone reads this let me know during the question section ... and then it's off to Ottawa. I hope to have a Ruby and Sadie stories on the blog on Saturday and Sunday.