Due to having mild cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus,I often become disorientated in unfamiliar places which sometimes means I get flustered and upset. One one particular occasion, I got confused having to attend a meeting in an unfamiliar building at work. A lady saw me hobbling around (my leg particularly hurt that day) and came from behind to ask me for help by grabbing my arm and talking in a raised voice. Her grabbing me caused my arm to spasm, which really hurts and I can then feel uncomfortable for ages after. The lady was actually very kind and helpful but I don’t believe that grabbing/touching someone makes you more helpful, especially as you have no idea how that person would feel.
Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex