Can the physically disabled be protected from sexual abuse?
From the age of three until she was a teenager, said Esposito, who was born deaf, her father and two brothers abused her. Confused and scared, she said nothing until her adult life unraveled in a haze of drugs and alcohol.
Part of her recovery has been to recount her experiences.
“I can’t change my past, but I decided and committed myself to make this world a better place so other deaf children don’t go through what I did,” said Esposito, who is now 38 and serves as the Executive Director of Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims, a national non-profit based in Rochester, NY.
One obstacle, according to Esposito who communicated with The Crime Report through a video relay service that uses a translator to communicate in real time, was that “people tend to think deaf and disabled people are stupid and can’t communicate.”
“That,” she added, “makes us a very vulnerable population.”