Serving Survivors with Mental Health Disabilities

Each May, we observe Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a time to celebrate the resilience of people with mental health disabilities and honor their voices as they work to end stigma and increase access. This month also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on where we can improve our services to better serve them. Survivors of domestic and sexual violence with mental health disabilities still face significant barriers in seeking and receiving healing services, including more significant or unfamiliar responses to trauma and lingering stigma around their disabilities. Service providers must continue the work in ensuring survivors’ services are safe, welcoming, and accessible and that their experiences are centered. Join Olga Trujillo as they explore the needs of survivors with mental health disabilities and potential solutions for overcoming barriers to services that providers can implement to be more responsive to their needs.

Presenter

Olga Trujillo joined the Center on Victimization and Safety as a Project Manager in 2021. Olga is an attorney, speaker, author, who in 1993 was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Olga’s memoir, The Sum of My Parts was released by New Harbinger Publications in October 2011. Olga trains internationally to help advocates, courts and first responders to improve their work with people with invisible disabilities.

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Serving Survivors of Sexual Assault with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Each April, we come together to pause, to reflect, and to uplift the experiences of sexual assault survivors. Please join us as we honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a conversation centering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are more likely to experience sexual assault. In this webinar, you will learn about the unique risks they face, barriers they encounter when seeking services, and best practices that you can implement to serve survivors with I/DD effectively. Also, a self-advocate will share their experiences and provide tips for ways in which you can increase survivors’ comfort, be trauma-informed, and meet the needs of those most likely to experience sexual assault.

Presenters

Our presenter for this session will be Leslie Myers, a Senior Program Associate at the Center on Victimization and Safety. She will also host a question-and-answer session with a self-advocate.

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One Year Later: Reflections on Sustaining Services for Survivors with Disabilities During COVID-19 (End Abuse Webinar)

The past year has brought unprecedented challenges and evolving landscapes for all of us. For those who were already underserved – such as survivors with disabilities – COVID-19 amplified the barriers that exist to have their healing and justice support needs met, and further increased their experiences of isolation. Providers have leveraged their creativity, flexibility and relationships to adapt and ensure that survivors with disabilities were able to sustain services during this difficult time.

Join us for this panel discussion, where participants will hear from providers on the strategies they used to sustain services to survivors with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will also explore the enduring challenges survivors with disabilities face as this health crisis continues, and their hopes for the future.

A Conversation on Serving Deaf Survivors (End Abuse Webinar)

Deaf individuals in the U.S. experience rates of domestic and/or sexual violence equal to or higher than hearing individuals, with emerging research pointing to rates twice that of hearing individuals. From 911 systems that only take phone calls to victim service providers not providing American Sign Language interpreters, Deaf survivors routinely face barriers when reaching out for help. Through this conversation with Deaf advocates, you will gain insight into the experiences of Deaf survivors, get a better understanding of the barriers they encounter, and practical information on how to better meet the needs of Deaf survivors.

A Conversation on Serving Survivors with Disabilities (End Abuse Webinar)

Research has shown that people with disabilities experience increased risk of domestic and sexual violence compared to people without disabilities. They also experience unique challenges in receiving healing and support, everything from receiving outreach for services through participating in programming. This conversation will help you begin to understand the unique dynamics of sexual and domestic violence in the lives of people with disabilities and the barriers they face when seeking services. You will also receive practical guidance for making your services safer and more accessible for all!

Applying Trauma-Informed Care and Disability Justice to Working with Survivors of Sex Trafficking (End Abuse Webinar)

People with disabilities are more likely to experience sex trafficking than their peers. Traffickers deliberately target victims they think will be easily isolated and controlled, so conditions surrounding people with disabilities, including the fact that they are marginalized, devalued, and isolated, make people with disabilities more vulnerable to this type of abuse. A trauma-informed approach to supporting sex trafficking survivors with disabilities recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma, resists re-traumatizing survivors, and provides safe and accessible services and healing. This webinar will describe the importance of using a trauma-informed approach to supporting survivors of sex trafficking with disabilities and provide attendees with skills to more effectively support these survivors.