Contact Deafax

Tel: +44 (0)118 9663777

Email: info@deafax.org

www.deafax.org

 

Deafax,

Rooms E3 & E4 TOBI,

Earley Gate,

University of Reading,

Whiteknights Road,

Reading,

Berkshire,

RG6 7BE

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Registered Charity No. 1095398 and a Company Limited by Guarantee Registered No. 4586634 © 2015 by Deafax.

Case Study - Teenage Girl

I didn’t know anything about Sex, contraception or relationships when I left school, there was never anyone to ask who could explain properly to me in sign language. I didn’t know how many sexual partners were ‘normal’. When I left school and left home, I was raped by a man. Then I had lots of men coming to my flat and asking me for sex, I just thought that it was what I was supposed to do. I didn’t learn about Sexual Health until I was 18, when a deaf man explained it to me.

 

But during this time I had become pregnant. There were so many things that I didn’t know. There is lots of written information out there, but it isn’t accessible to me – it stressed me out trying to read it because of the jargon, and my literacy skills are not good, because of my deafness. I was lucky that eventually I was put in touch with a midwife who used sign language, and understood about the impact of deafness. I am told that there are hardly any midwives in the UK who have these skills.

 

It was awful that when the birth came my midwife couldn’t be there. I had someone else who I didn’t understand, and no one there could understand me. They gave me a caesarean and I was frightened. I still don’t know why I had a caesarean, but I was angry, I wanted a natural birth. I was very lucky that for some of my pregnancy I had a midwife with deaf awareness, but there was still so much that could have been improved.