To address domestic and sexual violence of people with disabilities, one of the first things an organization must do is recognize that abuse is a pervasive problem among people they serve, acknowledge their role in addressing it, and make a commitment to doing so.
Resources and Tips You Can Use
- NCIL Resolution: Violence and Abuse of People with Disabilities. In 2006, the National Council on Independent Living passed a resolution in which they acknowledged violence/abuse as a barrier to achieving independence, resolved to advocate around issues of abuse, and encouraged its membership to develop strategies to address abuse of people with disabilities in their communities.
- DART Alaska Statement of Principles. Embedded within a larger document, Alaska Protocol for Addressing Violence/Abuse of People with Disabilities, DART Alaska (Disability Abuse Response Teams) created a set of principles to guide the work of those supporting survivors with disabilities. These principles demonstrate their commitment to prevent and respond to the abuse of people with disabilities.
- Host a Commitment Ceremony. Another way to demonstrate ongoing commitment is through a commitment ceremony. The King County Domestic Violence and Mental Health Collaboration Project held a “Commitment Ceremony” at the conclusion of their first grant to demonstrate the commitment of the partner agencies to sustain the work they had begun together. The directors from each of the partner agencies marched down an aisle carrying flowers and recited “vows” to each other. The directors agreed to maintain communication with each other and to continue participating in their project’s initiatives.