Using This Publication
This publication serves as a brief how-to guide for organizations seeking to improve their community responses to crime victims with disabilities. The material is presented in sequence, one step at a time, for ease of replication. Tasks and resources specific to each step are included.
The guide also offers tips and recommendations from the pilot sites, which sought change within their own organizations and communities in order to provide better services, conduct outreach, and track crimes against persons with disabilities. Although much of SafePlace’s outreach has focused on persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the pilot sites worked with a wide variety of persons with disabilities and with people who are Deaf.
The three pilot site agencies were domestic violence and/or sexual assault centers, so this guide is written largely from their perspective and experience. However, the information and strategies provided here are designed to benefit a wide range of groups and individuals, including but not limited to the following:
- Domestic violence, rape crisis, and other crime victim service agencies.
- Victim advocates.
- State and municipal agencies (such as adult and child protective services).
- Service providers who work with persons with disabilities and/or people who are Deaf.
- Persons with disabilities, including persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their family members.
- Criminal justice system staff.
- Individuals who want to increase their own awareness of these issues or to make some of these changes in their own communities.