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Rural Disability Awareness Project (RDAP) Webinar Supported by Verizon Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural Disability Awareness Project (RDAP) Webinar Supported by Verizon Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural Disability Awareness Project (RDAP) Webinar Supported by Verizon Foundation

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3 Overview of Webinar Topics Overview of literature Brief history Current domestic violence responses Services Policy Education What is missing? How do we begin to fill the gap? Rethink categorical responses Create responses to victim harm and need Broaden independence thinking and action to include economics and self care

4 Key Findings from Literature Disabled victims and those at risk are effected by: - Overlooked and underserved needs - Negative impact on health and well-being - Misunderstood differences in abuse experiences

5 Literature con’t Unmet Needs - Policy revision - Changes in social attitudes and context for disabled victims - Improvements in on-line safety - Research to inform understanding and new rural approaches

6 Abuse Unique to Disability Literature Continued Threats of institutionalization Withholding items necessary for health and survival Neglect Perpetrator may be a health care provider Limited accessibility of DV services and supports Communication barriers (e.g. no sign language interpreter) Physical dependence limits safety options

7 Literature on recommendations to inform action We would suggest that the literature does not yet contain creative, rural- relevant responses

8 Key Points Of Domestic Violence History Primarily restricted to sanctioned male dominance over females until contemporary times Emergence of industrial revolution brought economic subordination of women as men worked in remunerative contexts and women did not 1829 domestic violence outlawed in UK but convictions were rare 1871 wife beating outlawed in 2 states in the US Not until the 1960s was domestic violence acknowledged as a gendered problem of male power over females

9 Today Expansion of harm consequences beyond women is in it's infancy, but is critical for thinking about the relationship among dependence, cultural sanction and abuse

10 Disability History Key Points In ancient contexts, disability as a category did not exist but atypical people were met with primarily negative responses Religious thinking of the middle ages influenced responses to atypical individuals in diverse ways: pity, charity, exclusion, attribution of sin Enlightenment thinking brought scientism to analysis of the body and creation of standards and norms

11 Disability: 20 th and 21 st Century Medical dominance over the body rendered disability a medical deficit to be treated by professionals In the 1980s, theorists proposed the social model of disability which suggested that negative stereotypes, attitudes and barriers were the seat of disability, not the body Current models view disability as a complex interaction of bodies and contexts: disjuncture Responses informed by disjuncture can be complex and powerful in creating positive social change

12 Domestic Violence And Disability Key Points Myths and negative stereotypes left disabled individuals out of domestic violence services Limited access to standard environments exclude disabled bodies from shelters, services and other responses Expanding the understanding of domestic violence as perpetrated against dependent individuals is nascent and powerful in helping us to think and act broadly

13 The Rural Challenge Limited resources Large distances Weapons Myth of lower crime rates Limited transportation Limited connectivity Close knit communities (e. g. underreporting) Economic challenges: scarcity of jobs etc. Limited self care resources

14 Current Responses: Services Identify harm activity as the basis for victim response: causes typically follow the power and control framework Harm consequences: trauma treatment, removal and criminal justice Disabled victims are left out of typical services, sent to rehabilitation, or not recognized as victims

15 Current Responses: Policy Specialized Legislation

16 Current Responses: Education Public awareness Pre-service education Social networking for innovation

17 What is Missing Recognition of disabled victims Full access Responses that rethink independence to include self care Attention to rural geographies

18 From the Service Perspective What Can Be Done Now? Rethink assessment: responsive to disabled victims –Expand to consider rurality and functional limitations Treatment and intervention for individual victims –Begin with harm as the basis for all intervention –Focus on economic and self care independence, and safety –Connect individuals with appropriate resources From a broader community perspective –Evaluate current community resources and limitations- and collaborate on new approaches –Create solutions that consider the unique needs of rural areas

19 Reporting Abuse Mandated Reporting in Maine, New Hampshire, & Vermont for certain professionals Become informed about legal and moral reporting responsibilities –Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

20 Now What? Identify harm. Consider the areas of vulnerability created by the disabling circumstance in rural contexts before dismissing consequences which do not fit within typical conceptualizations of harm If the explanations fit with legitimate victimization, seek a relevant response. If none exists, it is timely and critical to develop informed approaches to protect the safety and liberty of all citizens including rural disabled individuals Respond through establishing independence opportunities: economic and self care Collaborate: dialog leads to innovation!!!! (http://rdap.astos.org)http://rdap.astos.org


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