In recognition of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week April 6-12, the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN Canada) is launching a campaign aimed at informing women with disabilities and Deaf women about their right to report abuse and to have their abusers tried in court. Entitled “We Can Tell and We Will,” the campaign includes a Public Service Announcement which depicts two women with intellectual disabilities and one with a communication difference describing abuse and stating that abuse is unacceptable. The Avalanche spoke with Bonnie Brayton of DAWN Canada to fill us in on this campaign.
CKUT brings to you an interview with Bonnie Brayton of the Disabled Women’s Network of Canada on the issue of Ashley Smith. Ashley Smith was a woman with a mental illness who died in prison in 2007.
Stephane Bertand: Today on the Avalanche show we will be speaking with Bonnie Brighton from the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN). We are going to start by talking about Ashley Smith. So what’s been happening; we know that she had a mental illness and in the beginning she struck a postal worker with crab apples and was sent to a couple of prisons and she should not have been in a prison but in an institution, got services to help her.
Bonnie Brayton: The question of where Ashley Smith belonged instead of the federal prison is sort of the overarching question for women with disabilities. And I really appreciate you taking time to look at not just the Ashley Smith case but why we continue to criminalize women with disabilities when we don’t support them.