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Offer Ongoing Training to Staff and Volunteers

Advocates in programs that address domestic and sexual violence understand how to provide advocacy, support, and safety planning from their own field’s perspectives, but often lack an understanding of the additional and unique issues faced by victims and survivors with disabilities – issues at the intersection of abuse and disabilities. Education about the unique issues that arise at this intersection is an important first step toward breaking down barriers and increasing accessibility. Cross training among disability and victim services organizations has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy for training staff in abuse and disabilities.

Resources You Can Use

  • Project SAFE Training Manual. This manual was created by Project SAFE in Suffolk County, NY to deepen staff’s knowledge of the dynamics of sexual assault and domestic violence and how it intersects with disability; serve as an introduction to the disability movement; and increase staff comfort in communicating with individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Understanding Disability and Its Intersection with Domestic/Sexual Violence. This PowerPoint, which accompanies the Project SAFE Training Manual, provides staff of violence against women organizations basic knowledge about disability, possible accommodations, and the unique dynamics of domestic/sexual violence faced by survivors with disabilities.
  • Our Rights, Right Now: Guide for Rape Crisis Centers. Illinois Imagines, a statewide collaboration of disability, sexual assault, and self advocates, developed this guide to give staff of rape crisis centers a fundamental understanding of the issues and needs faced by victims/survivors with disabilities. It includes activities, handouts, and key considerations.