Mother of advocacy services in deaf community talks to Univ. Cincinnati
Speaking from her own experience as a deaf woman who has survived sexual assault, Marilyn Smith, founder of the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS), emphasized the need for advocacy services within the deaf community Tuesday evening.
Assisted by an American Sign Language translator, Smith spoke about why she founded the ADWAS, the history of the program and what can be done to assist to hearing-impaired women who experience domestic or sexual violence.
With a full room in attendance at the Engineering Research Center, Smith broke down the steps that took her from her basement operation to establishing 25 centers that utilize members in the deaf community to assist the community as a whole.
According to Smith, the defining moment of her journey was in 1970 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., when she experienced sexual violence and the resistance of faculty, who she said neither believed her nor did anything about the incident.