April Newsletter
The End Abuse of People with Disabilities monthly newsletter is our opportunity to spotlight promising practices, programs, and resources at the intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, and disability. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month we draw your attention to the needs of sexual assault survivors with disabilities and resources to help your organization reach, support, and uplift sexual assault survivors with disabilities.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: Supporting Survivors with Disabilities
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
As we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness month, we also recognize that sexual violence within the disability community continues to be a “hidden epidemic.” The research makes it clear:
  • 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted in their lives.
  • 50% of girls who are deaf have been sexually abused compared to 25% of girls who are hearing; 54% of boys who are deaf have been sexually abused in comparison to 10% of boys who are hearing.
  • Approximately 80% of women and 30% of men with developmental disabilities have been sexually assaulted – half of these women have been assaulted more than 10 times.
  • Just 3% of sexual abuse cases involving people with developmental disabilities are ever reported.
  • Women with a disability are far more likely to have a history of undesired sex with an intimate partner – 19.7% vs. 8.2%.

Rape crisis centers have long been a vital resource for survivors of sexual assault. Advocates support survivors throughout their healing journey with counseling, support groups, and guidance on navigating complex systems. But advocates and rape crisis centers are not reaching survivors with disabilities who, based on the statistics, represent a core constituency of the people they should be serving. You can change this by taking a few initial but important steps:
  1. Assess your readiness to serve survivors with disabilities by completing our online performance indicatorsOnce you have your result, contact us to schedule a time to review your performance and make a plan for making changes.
  2. Encourage your staff to participate in trainings and webinars related to serving survivors with disabilities to build their comfort and confidence around this issue.
  3. Build relationships with people with disabilities in your local community, as well as organizations that serve people with disabilities. Strong relationships build trust and lead to better understanding of how your program can better meet the needs of survivors with disabilities.

Providing Accessible and Effective Services to Survivors of Sexual Assault with Disabilities
April 26
2 - 3:30 pm ET

Join panelists, Cathy Saunders, Self-Advocate with Illinois Imagines, Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams, Prevention Specialist at Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Heidi Sue LeBoeuf, Counseling Director at Pathways For Change. and facilitator Sandra Harrell, Associate Director, Center on Victimization and Safety for this discussion as we lift up promising practices for sexual assault survivors with disabilities.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Virtual Trainings

Did you miss a recent webinar or would you like to download materials from one of our recent trainings?

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WE'RE HIRING: Come work with us!

Are you passionate about having an impact within disability and Deaf communities? Do you want to work remotely and use your skills to eliminate violence, criminalization, incarceration, and institutionalization of people with disabilities and Deaf people? We want you on our team. Apply today!

  • Finance Director (Remote): We are looking for a Finance Director who is grounded in nonprofit finance and has interest and experience in building and managing a strong financial infrastructure that promotes equity in the organization’s financial policies, practices, and relationships.

  • Director, Ending Criminalization and Incarceration (Remote): We are looking for a passionate, visionary, mission-driven individual looking to take on a significant leadership role in advancing a new strategic priority for the organization -- ending criminalization and mass incarceration of people with disabilities and Deaf people.

  • Executive and Operations Assistant (Remote): We are looking for an Executive and Operations Assistant to provide administrative and development support to the Director and support the day-to-day financial and operations administration. This position is ideal for a highly organized, detail-oriented individual with a strong interest in an administrative career and a commitment to disability and racial justice.

  • American Sign Language Interpreter, Part-Time (Remote): We are looking for a trauma and healing-informed American Sign Language interpreter to provide remote interpreting to Deaf survivors of crime across the country. The position is ideal for someone who is dedicated to language and disability justice, and racial equality.
The National Center on Ending Abuse of People with Disabilities is a resource center funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to bring together people with disabilities, policymakers, practitioners, and other community members to better serve people with disabilities and Deaf people who have experienced violence. The National Center fosters dialogue and provides guidance on addressing problems that impede access to services, developing promising practices, and works to center the needs of people with disabilities and Deaf people when developing solutions and responses to crime. For more information, reach out to us at cvs@vera.org.