#JustAskDontGrab is a new campaign started by Dr Amy Kavanagh on Twitter to highlight the experiences of disabled people who are grabbed, manhandled, and “helped” by people when they did not ask for or require it, causing more harm than good.

In her blog on the Metro, Amy, who is visually impaired and uses a cane, writes: “I love my cane as it has really helped me regain my independence, but there is one negative that I’ve started to encounter. People keep grabbing me!

“I know that people just want to help. However, being grabbed, pushed, pulled or even touched without warning is disorientating, frightening and sometimes even dangerous.

“People who grab rarely help me and often achieve exactly the opposite. Imagine how it would feel if you were suddenly pushed across a road or pulled into a train carriage?”

In a tweet, she explained why she had started the hashtag: “I’m trying to get the hashtag going because I encounter it every day. I love the independence my cane gives me but my anxiety around the grabbing and unwanted touching has become problematic. I just want people to ask if I need help and respect my bodily autonomy.”

Amy also uses the hashtag to highlight positive interactions, giving examples of how to help in a positive and respectful way.

Use the #JustAskDontGrab hashtag to share your stories and read the experiences of others.

Image: Flickr/Daniel Lobo

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