24 Feb Harry Davies – running to make a changeReading Time: 3 minutes
After a successful launch of Beta Cine, the co-organizer of this event and the co-director of one of the documentaries shown at the movie night Harry Davies explains the importance of the movie and his quest to raise money in order to support survivors of sexual abuse with learning disabilities.
“Design-Ability” – the short documentary co-directed by Harry Davies, a member of the Beta-family, is about an amazing Barcelona-based design agency, “La Casa de Carlota“, that works for global brands and whose artists have autism and Down’s syndrome. “I chose this film as I wanted to show what can be achieved when we work to accommodate the needs of marginalized members of society. I am currently raising money for a charity I found while researching what happens when we don’t support disabled people. “Respond” is an NGO that supports survivors of sexual abuse with learning disabilities, a demographic 3-4 times more likely to be abused and who face greater challenges when they are brave enough to speak out.”
I spent much of 2019 learning about sexual abuse of people with learning disabilities in the hope of helping a friend of mine to tell his story. While that remained impossible, the necessity to bring awareness and push for change remains as important as ever.
Enabling, understanding and supporting a learning disabled abuse survivor can seem like an impossible task. So even the strongest, wealthiest and most loving families can struggle under the weight of recovery. The abuse of people with learning disabilities is a painful problem but it seems to be very easy to ignore. Our legal, political, and care systems are woefully ill-equipped. And it is difficult to keep media attention on something so unappealing and hard to hear about. And it’s hard to imagine learning disabled people getting their own #MeToo moment.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a survivor or a survivor’s family trying to navigate these waters and there are thousands of people submerged in them. When I searched for solutions, I found very little.
However, Respond offered a light in the dark. From their little office in Central London, they use 27 years of experience “to bring about the positive change that enables people with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced abuse, violence or trauma to live richer, more resilient lives. We achieve this through a range of evidence-based trauma-informed services for children, young people, adults, and professionals. These services include psychotherapy, advocacy, campaigning and other support that aim to both prevent abuse and equip individuals and their families to come to terms with their experiences and live more positive lives.”
In many cases, they are among the, if not the only people providing these sorts of vital services. I wasn’t going to try and get sponsored for this run – if I am honest, I’ll be doing it anyway – but I am not sure I could ever do in a lifetime what Respond does every working day. Even the slightest donation to support their work would be very much appreciated.”