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Safety and Security: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

The goal of this initiative is to increase the capacity and knowledge of domestic violence and/or sexual assault service providers for the needs of victims who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD). Also, it hopes to increase the skills and knowledge of I/DD service providers to effectively intervene when someone they provide services to is victimized. Staff at I/DD service provider agencies will also gain the capacity to promote primary prevention to avoid victimization in the first place.

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Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?Goal2

  • Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) are eight to ten times more likely to experience abusive incidents than those without disabilities.
  • Existing Sexual and Domestic Violence programs in North Carolina have limited expertise in serving individuals with I/DD.
  • Direct support professionals and providers report little knowledge on how to identify and assist victims of violence or sexual abuse who have I/DD.  As a result, victims with I/DD may not have support necessary to stop the violence and/or abuse.
  • This initiative supports NCCDD's Goal 2 of the Five Year Plan: Increase community living for individuals with I/DD.

What are the major goals and objectives?

  • To provide information to both direct support professionals of individuals with I/DD, and staff of domestic and sexual violence prevention programs to change attitudes and beliefs, and prevent domestic violence and sexual violence.
  • Promote self advocacy among individuals with disabilities as well as educating professionals and their communities about primary prevention strategies in order to prevent acts of sexual and/or domestic violence.

What has taken place since the start of the program? (Activities)

  • The Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. has conducted a needs assessment of direct support professionals and community domestic and sexual violence programs to determine opportunities, barriers, and educational needs.
  • Completed four pilot training programs with direct support staff and staff from domestic and sexual violence community programs.
  • Compiled resources and information on: mandatory reporting, ADA requirements and regulations, and information about healthy sexuality development for all ages.

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 What has been achieved to date?

  • Developed a training program for providers specific to the needs of individuals with I/DD who have experienced domestic and sexual violence.
  • Developed partnerships and strengthen collaboration with state agencies and statewide groups such as the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and The Arc of NC.
  • Raised awareness of the specific needs of individuals with I/DD who experience violence and how to intervene.

What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?

  • Strengthen collaboration and communication between direct support professionals and community domestic and sexual violence programs to ensure whole system response to the needs of people with I/DD who have experienced violence.
  • Build a sustainable provider network that can support people with I/DD who have experienced sexual or domestic violence.

How can I get involved?

Donate time, funds or items from our wish list: Click here for more information.

Who is the contractor?

The Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.

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Who can I contact for questions?

Grantee: Emily Turner, RCC Supervisor, eturner@coastalhorizons.org, 910-392-7185

NCCDD: Melissa Swartz, Systems Change Manager, Melissa.Swartz@dhhs.nc.gov

Additional Resources

I/DD Service Provider Training Video

DV/SA Service Provider Training Video

I/DD Service Provider Training Binder (pdf)

DV/SA Service Provider Training Binder (pdf)

Safety & Security Presentation for DVSA Providers (ppt)


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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

Office Hours: 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday
1-800-357-6916 (Toll Free)
984-920-8200 (Office/TTY)
984-920-8201 (Fax)
This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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