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Christopher Coleman, Activist For Sexual Abuse For The Disabled. Sponsored By Terrene Research

On August 4, 2021, I decided to bring to light an injustice that is often swept under the rug in the disabled community. On April 16th, 2019, after many inappropriate comments from previous doctor visits, I was sexually harassed by a male Nurse. I knew early on that his conduct was inappropriate and was getting out of hand. However, I knew no one would believe me without some type of proof that it happened. Here’s why. It is said that 90% of disabled individuals are abused 10 or more times in their lifetime. It may be physical, sexual, verbal or just being taken advantage of. The majority of their offenders are relatives, close family members, or people who have authority over them. Most incidents are not reported because the victims are dependent on their offenders, have the fear of not being believed by authorities, or they are afraid of the repercussion of reporting someone who has authority over them. Therefore, I decided that I needed to get proof of the misconduct before I go public. During the last two visits, I was able to get audio recordings using my iPhone. The recordings reveal verbal sexual harassment and there were moments of silence when the actual physical sexual harassment occurred. Before I go forward with my story, readers should know, I decided not to make public the names of the doctor or nurse until the proper protocol is established and as things begin to develop.

The day I reported my incident, the officer asked me was I under sudation and just believed it happened. Then he got on the phone with another officer and said he has a gentleman in a wheelchair that thinks he was sexually assaulted. What he said is a prime example of what disabled victims want to avoid and therefore decide never to report the abuse. To hear his poor choice of words made me think he was doubting what happen. At that moment I realized many will not believe me simply because I am a man, gay and disabled. Not to mention, our society does not want to acknowledge that we are depraved enough to take advantage of an individual with a disability. Unfortunately, I know from experience, our society is depraved enough to take advantage of vulnerable people.

A couple of weeks later the Nurse was arrested by the Fulton County Police and charged with Sexual Battery and Exploitation. These charges were not brought forward solely based on my testimony and audio recordings; the Fulton County Police did an investigation and they found enough evidence to charge him.

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