Stevenage blind woman launches respect campaign to tackle abuse

Siobhan Meade with her guide dog Mac

Siobhan Meade with her guide dog Mac - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

A blind woman who revealed last week she has been repeatedly abused since moving to Stevenage is launching a respect campaign to combat the issue.

Siobhan Meade told the Comet last week she has suffered abuse in the form of swearing and intimidation every other week – mainly in Stevenage town centre – while walking with her guide dog Mac.

The 30-year-old, who was born partially sighted but lost her remaining vision aged 16, has received backing from members of the public who she said have been appalled at her treatment since moving to the town in November.

“Everyone who has read my story has been both shocked and disgusted by it,” said Miss Meade.

“They have told me that nobody should have to go through this. The majority of the public have been totally and utterly appalled and are right behind me.”

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Miss Meade has since been contacted by Stevenage Borough Council about the abuse and is meeting with Stevenage’s Safer Neighbourhood Team tomorrow (Friday).

“I would love to go into schools across Stevenage and the college and talk to young people about hate crime and the impact it has on disabled people more generally,” said Miss Meade.

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“I would like to do role-play using simspecs [which mimic eye conditions] so people can get an idea of how scary being blind can be. The issue needs to be dealt with in a positive way.”

Miss Meade is keen to involve Stevenage schools in her respect campaign, as well as any organisations which deal with young people.

If you would like to become involved email or message @SibbyMeade on social networking site Twitter.

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