Myths that perpetuate violence Eternal childEternal child Can’t learnCan’t learn Need to be segregatedNeed to be segregated Not sexually attractiveNot sexually attractive Don’t feel painDon’t feel pain The label is the personThe label is the person Sex education = promiscuitySex education = promiscuity
Facts in plain language I am more like you than differentI am more like you than different I have feelings tooI have feelings too I am NOT my labelI am NOT my label I can learn. Can you teach?I can learn. Can you teach? I want to know about my body, my choices, my life opportunitiesI want to know about my body, my choices, my life opportunities I have dreams, talents, and contributions to makeI have dreams, talents, and contributions to make
Children with disabilities experience sexual violence at an alarming rate!
Risk Factors Potential VictimPotential Victim Potential OffenderPotential Offender Environmental/CulturalEnvironmental/Cultural SocialSocial In: Violence in the Lives of People with Disabilities: An End to Silent Acceptance? By Dick Sobsey
WE CAN Stop Abuse Study Focus on preventionFocus on prevention Partnerships formedPartnerships formed Reduced/eliminated risk factorsReduced/eliminated risk factors Peer TrainingPeer Training Long-term effectsLong-term effects Peer Trainers dataPeer Trainers data People reported grooming behaviorsPeople reported grooming behaviors
Response to sexual violence Believe meBelieve me Keep me safe (away from offender)Keep me safe (away from offender) Reassure meReassure me Report with/for meReport with/for me Find me a trusted person who can helpFind me a trusted person who can help
Response to violence Maintain the routineMaintain the routine Share informationShare information Let child know that they helped others to be safeLet child know that they helped others to be safe Respect boundariesRespect boundaries Reflect feelingsReflect feelings
ABC’s of Living With My Disability by Amy Walker
Criminal justice response Many people with disabilities are credible witnessesMany people with disabilities are credible witnesses What do you need that you don’t have?What do you need that you don’t have? ConfessionsConfessions Right to equal justiceRight to equal justice
Solutions Know the warning signs/indicatorsKnow the warning signs/indicators Eliminate or reduce as many risk factors as possibleEliminate or reduce as many risk factors as possible Develop a national commitment and actionDevelop a national commitment and action Prohibit sexual violence against all childrenProhibit sexual violence against all children Give prevention a priorityGive prevention a priority
Solutions Empower children to be involved in the solutionsEmpower children to be involved in the solutions Include people with disabilities with education, advocacy, counseling and legal systemInclude people with disabilities with education, advocacy, counseling and legal system Educate everyone!Educate everyone! Make it easier for children to discloseMake it easier for children to disclose
Solutions Form partnerships/collaborationsForm partnerships/collaborations Ensure high-quality recovery servicesEnsure high-quality recovery services Bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justiceBring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice Collect data including children with disaiblitiesCollect data including children with disaiblities
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do The something I can do. Helen Keller
One Victim’s Voice By Brenda Henson and Amy Walker I am a person, so treat me like you. Don’t hurt me, abuse me, or embarrass me too. I think and I feel and I will speak out— If someone does hurt me, I’ll stand up and shout!
Listen to me and believe what I say Because if you don’t, the hurt won’t go away. Help me to get well and heal my pain And don’t let this kind of thing happen again.
If someone hurts me, then lock them away, But still give them help so that they will not stray And hurt someone else. If you do this for me, Then I will be glad I spoke out. I’m set free!
Allow for the possibility… YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!