The following contains a trigger warning because what I’m about to write contains information that could be upsetting in nature.
If you read my previous blog entry, Ashlee and Leah’s storiess have no tragic consequences, but I’m about to show you a story with real tragic consequences, as told to me by a friend in Ohio.
Kelly M. Bond was 32 years old, and died a lonely lady. Her obituary did not tell the truth, only mentioned half her pets, who was doing the funeral, who was acting as pall bearer, etc. It was not surprising, but Kelly’s story began in a farming community in Tennessee, where her mother, Peggy W. Bond, and her father, Tom Bond, raised her and a sister called Emily. Kelly was mistreated at the hands of her family, who said to her that nobody would believe her abuse occurred. However, a friend told me that her family planned her murder and got away with it because of her disability. Kelly was blind and epileptic.
Because of Kelly’s health problems, one day, after years of abuse had scarred Kelly for life, her family made her sign insurance papers making Kelly an object of money for her family. They then proceeded to kill the young lady in her bed, causing the seizure she never woke from. Emily didn’t sond as though she mourned her sister, so says my friend. It was obvious by the tone of Emily’s voice that Kelly’s life was nothing to her.
How do we prevent tragedies like Kelly’s? First, document all abuse the client or friend or family member is going through. If they are not allowed to document the abuse themselves, give them a cell phone for calling 911 and a limited amount of minutes. The person should seek medical treatment if for example, a threat against their life is made. If a parent or guardian refuses to comment on the abuses spawned by family resentment of a child’s disability, there should be red flags flying all around you. If your client, friend, or family member with a disability is on the brink of death, make sure paramedics know what occurred, and a full record of that person’s life should be kept wherever only you the worker and the victim can find it. In any case, disability resentment and abuse due to this condition/class is unacceptable. Preventing tragedies like that of Kelly Marie Bond should be the top priority for lawyers, judges, and social workers alike.