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Fall Greetings - 

This month's  VTrail publication introduces several useful resources and a new opportunity to begin to provide us some input on this publication itself via a short, one question poll.  We are eager for your feedback!

'Tis the beginning of a busy time of year -- remember to take care of yourselves, too!

Jean Solis
Editor and Director of Marketing and Development
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(Tools to help us in our work to address crime victimization of people with I/DD in our communities)

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers' (CFILC) archived webinar training,  SILENCE=VIOLENCE: Empowering People with Disabilities to Recognize and Report Abuse  that was held on Tuesday, November 1, is available online!

...is available and a good resource for both victims and the professionals across many disciplines, including in the disability system, who work with them.
Click here to access the Guide.

...is available and a good resource for both victims and the professionals across many disciplines, including in the disability system, who work with them. Click here to access the Guide.

The Office for Victims of Crime's Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) has a new Resource Library, a searchable collection of tools, promotional items, reference materials, and more, that we can use for our organization's development and training needs. You can, for instance, search for resources to help you better respond to victims with disabilities, child victims, and other populations. Click here to access the library and search for resources to assist you in your work with victims with disabilities. 

Celebrating a Champion for Justice
(Recognizing and sharing information about a champion for justice for people with I/DD.  There are many of us out there - we hope sharing this information will help us network and further improve services to victims with I/DD.)

Sgt. Damon Vaz

Sgt. Damon Vaz is currently assigned to the Aurora (CO) Police Department's Special Victims Unit (SVU).  This Unit was created and launched on September 26, 2015, in response to Colorado's new mandatory reporting laws for at-risk elders and, as of July 1, 2016, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sgt. Vaz is the first Sergeant to head this prestigious outfit and is responsible for laying the foundation, policies and procedures for this new team.

He began his tenure with the Aurora Police Department on August 7, 1995.  As a graveyard officer working the Colfax Corridor he served as a Field Training Officer, was one of the original MDC training officers, a member of the Emergency Response Team, and spent 7 years as a Police Area Representative where he was credited with modernizing the way officers interact with communities' Neighborhood Watch Programs.  Damon was
promoted to the rank of Sergeant on his birthday in May 2008, where he worked the Patrol Division in District's 2 and 3 and served as a Field Force Squad Leader for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  Damon then accepted the position of PAR Sergeant in District 1 in 2009 where he supervised both PAR teams and Foot Patrol in that District.  In January 2013 Sgt. Vaz was assigned to the School Resource Officer Unit, supervising officers assigned to Aurora and Cherry Creek Public Schools for the Aurora Police Department.  While serving in that capacity, Sgt. Vaz created the annual Cops, Coats and Kids coat drive where, to date, more than1200 coats have been given to school students in need. Damon is married with one 12-year-old son and enjoys coaching youth tackle football and golfing.

For his tenacious support of at risk citizens in Aurora and throughout Colorado, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we recognize Aurora (CO) Police Department's Sgt. Damon Vaz as a Champion for Justice!

(If you would like to nominate someone as a Champion for Justice, contact Jean at jsolis@thearcofaurora.org.) 
(Activities for engagement to help improve our work to address crime victimization of people with I/DD in our communities)

(None this issue - please send yours to Jsolis@thearcofaurora.org for the next issue!)
(Abuse of people with I/DD occurs throughout the country, including in our own communities...)

An Eagle Mountain woman was booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of sexually abusing two handicapped women for months. UTAH - November 13, 2016 -- Daily Herald

A North Carolina man allegedly admitted to police that he tortured his disabled, adopted daughter before leading then to the body of the dead 13-year-old girl, who was buried six days before Christmas in 2011, authorities said. NORTH CAROLINA - November 3, 2016 - Inside Edition

A registered nurse is facing assault charges after home videos surfaced of her mistreating a disabled child under her care. Angela Vonnida, 34, of Elizabeth, has been charged with two counts of third-degree assault of an at-risk victim, a Class 6 felony. COLORADO - October 21, 2016 - 9News.com

A husband and wife from County Armagh have admitted a number of sex offenses, including the rape and assault of a woman with severe learning difficulties. Keith Baker, 60, and his wife Caroline, 54, had previously denied the charges. Baker, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, admitted the rape and assault of the woman over an eight-year period. NORTHERN IRELAND - October 20, 2016

Andre Scott appeared in Rhode Island District Court after failing to appear in court 4 days earlier to face 3 charges of assault and battery upon a disabled person. RHODE ISLAND - October 18, 2016 - WLNE-TV

Officials say a former employee for a mental health provider in central Oregon has been accused of stealing $16,000 from developmentally disabled clients. OREGON - October 17, 2016 - KOIN-6

A 15-year-old Maryland girl died at a facility in Delaware for severely developmentally disabled youths, authorities said, after the state already had decided to sever ties with the operators and transfer her elsewhere. MARYLAND - October 17, 2016 - The Baltimore Sun

Jonathan Carey was developmentally disabled and had autism, and he was only 13 years old when he was killed by his caregivers. NEW YORK - October 14, 2016 - EINnews.com

A woman with a severe intellectual disability and cerebral palsy died in the hospital two days after her 22nd birthday in March, following months of welfare concerns by visitors from the Office of the Public Advocate. Witnesses say she was "half-dragged" from a taxi and was fed while seated on a beanbag instead of a proper chair, increasing her risk of choking. AUSTRALIA - October 13, 2016 - AAP

A registered sex offender is accused of kidnapping a mentally disabled woman on the Far South side of Chicago and sexually assaulting her in an abandoned house in West Pullman. ILLINOIS - October 12, 2016 - South Side Patch

Two years ago, several older men with intellectual disabilities were found living in virtual segregation in a seedy bunkhouse in South Carolina, across the street from the massive meat-producing plant where they once worked. One man was still working at the plant, disposing of the 
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