Britney Spears Is Far From The Only Person Locked In A Conservatorship Nightmare

Written by on June 24, 2021

Britney Spears’ surprising testimony Wednesday ought to spark outrage. However disabled individuals, activists and advocates assume that the general public fury surrounding Spears must shift with a view to see the bigger problem.

“I hate the way in which non-disabled individuals gaslight disabled individuals about Britney Spears’ scenario as a result of guardianship and conservatorship will not be distinctive,” Imani Barbarin, a incapacity rights and inclusion activist, stated in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday.

In her video, Barbarin admitted that Spears’ claims are certainly “horrific, however once more, it’s not distinctive.” 

“That is one thing that disabled individuals are terrified of on a regular basis,” Barbarin emphasised. “As a result of there are situations through which disabled individuals will ask the unsuitable query to the unsuitable individual, and wound up in a conservatorship or guardianship.”

Many disabled individuals and advocates additionally spoke out concerning the matter on Twitter Wednesday:

The 39-year-old “Poisonous” singer has been locked right into a conservatorship since 2008 after she was hospitalized for a psychiatric analysis. On Wednesday, the pop star spoke earlier than Choose Brenda Penny — who’s overseeing her authorized association — after asking for the possibility to handle the court docket in her personal phrases. In her testimony, Spears alleged that she was compelled to work, take lithium and be on contraception, regardless that she needs to have one other youngster.

Spears in the end described her scenario as “abusive.”

“I actually consider this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears stated. “And that we are able to sit right here all day and say, ‘Oh, conservatorships are right here to assist individuals.’ However ma’am, there’s a thousand conservatorships which are abusive as nicely.”

Guardianship and conservatorship truly have an effect on about 1.three million adults throughout the nation, based on a 2018 report by the Nationwide Council on Incapacity.

And Spears is legally considered as disabled.

 “We don’t know whether or not Spears identifies herself as disabled,” Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a workers lawyer on the ACLU Incapacity Rights Undertaking, instructed HuffPost by way of e-mail in August 2020. “However we all know that, by inserting her underneath conservatorship, the court docket is de facto figuring out her as disabled.”

Brennan-Krohn instructed HuffPost final yr that though judges, households and legal professionals typically view conservatorships as “a benign approach to assist individuals with disabilities,” they’re extra precisely “methods via which individuals who have disabilities — or are perceived by a court docket to have disabilities — lose their civil rights and decision-making capabilities.”

Sara Luterman, a disabled journalist who has written extensively concerning the topic, tweeted a extra optimistic tackle the discourse surrounding Spears’ case.

“If Britney Spears makes combating guardianship/conservatorship typically her factor,” Luterman wrote, “it might be utterly game-changing for the incapacity rights motion.”


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