Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Abused And Betrayed - Seeking Solutions

Many readers of this blog may be aware of National Public Radio’s “Abused and Betrayed,” a series of reports about the astonishing rate of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have been victims of sexual assault.

Sadly, this story was not news to those of us at Imagine!. We have long been aware that the population we serve is especially vulnerable to this type of crime.

We have explored ways to address this epidemic of sexual assault. A few years ago Imagine! participated in “Intersections,” a collaboration between Imagine! and Boulder-based Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), funded by a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women. The ultimate goals of the grant were to facilitate sustainable system change at both MESA and Imagine!, and to help MESA as well as Imagine! staff and volunteers improve both organizations’ ability to serve people with disabilities who have experienced sexual assault.

You can learn more about the collaboration here

The value of the collaboration and the increased knowledge we came away with as a result cannot be overstated. We are a wiser organization and better equipped to support those we serve who have been victims of sexual assault.

But of course it was just the beginning, and as the NPR series indicates, we still have a very long way to go in ensuring that our fellow citizens with I/DD are safe from these horrible violations of their person. I ask all of you reading this to commit to being part of the solution to this epidemic – we will never have a world of opportunity for all abilities without significantly reducing the risk of sexual assault among people with I/DD.

Then again, what do I know?

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