When an individual with a disability accesses services at a domestic or sexual violence organization, it can evoke a crisis of confidence among staff who do not have experience working with individuals with disabilities. Having disability-specific protocols, resource guides, and other tools available for staff and volunteers helps to ensure best practice does not get abandoned in the face of working with someone with a disability.
Resources You Can Use
- Safety Planning for Persons with Disabilities: Advocate Guide. This advocates’ guide to safety planning, created by the Safety First Initiative in Kansas City, MO, includes an overview of dynamics of domestic and sexual violence for people with disabilities, tips on when and how to use a safety plan, along with safety plan templates.
- Safety Plan for People with Cognitive and Sensory Disabilities. This safety plan, developed by Project CARE, was designed to be used by or with people with cognitive and sensory disabilities. It uses simplified language and images to augment the text. The collaboration also created an accompanying checklist of things to take when leaving home.
- Safety Plan for People with Physical Disabilities. This safety plan, created by Project CARE, includes considerations for people with physical disabilities and uses images to augment the text. The collaboration also created an accompanying checklist of things to take when leaving home.
- DC Power and Control Wheels. Project Peer in Washington, DC created plain language and picture versions of the Power and Control Wheel, developed by and for women with developmental disabilities and mental health issues.
- WSCADV Model Protocol: Safety Planning for Domestic Violence Victims with Disabilities. Developed by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, this resource builds on existing safety planning knowledge providing sample safety planning questions that will help advocates build trust with a survivor and gain a detailed understanding of the ways an abuser can use disability against a survivor.