Work Needed To Prevent Sexual Abuse Of People With Disabilities

Sexual violence is a pervasive public health issue that disproportionately affects individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Bureau of Justice indicate that the rate of rape and sexual assault against individuals with intellectual disabilities is more than seven times the rate of individuals without disabilities.

The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has been working on practices that can help prevent these numbers. Erica McFadden, the executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, said the problem arises from families failing to recognize and report abuse. “They’re [families] lacking developmentally appropriate material, on how to talk about healthy relationships, how to talk about boundaries”. As a result, disabled children are growing up in a culture of compliance where they are taught to follow directions and commands which leads to these egregious statistics. More of these statistics here.