Race, Culture, and Abuse of Persons with Disabilities


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This chapter will explore how race and culture influence the lives of persons with disabilities who are experiencing abuse. The discussion will be framed by an intersectional lens and will be informed by cultural humility and critical race theory. Practitioners need to remain open to the idea that they cannot and will not know all there is to know about any given culture, and they should be open to hearing about their clients’ understanding and experiences of culture. Rather than knowing certain pieces of “knowledge” about a cultural group, it is more important to understand what pieces of culture the clients embrace or reject. This chapter will conclude with a composite client case example of a female, middle-aged, Korean immigrant with multiple sclerosis, who is very active in her Christian church and who is being abused by her husband. Discussion of this case will highlight the intersectional context of the client’s experience and how they may influence her decision to seek help (and from whom) as well as her experience of receiving help. The case discussion also highlights the practitioner’s values and behaviors that are consistent with cultural humility and critical race theory.

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