Guide to protect physically challenged from sexual abuse

The Institute for Human Development of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Missouri Development Disabilities Council and the Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities have published a guide to help prevent sexual assault and other abuses, especially for the physically challenged.
The “Abuse Awareness and Prevention Guide”, was released in April, to mark Sexual Assault Awareness month.
Reportedly, over 1.3 million violent crimes are recorded annually against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And 90% of people with disabilities will experience some sort of sexual violence during their lives, according to the US Department of Justice.
Emily Hartley, deputy director of the Missouri Development Disabilities Council, said people with disabilities are “disproportionately” affected by abuse, including sexual assault.
“Education is important. Without education and resources, people are more vulnerable. We want people with disabilities and their families to have access to this information,” said Hartley.
Statistics indicate that the physically challenged people are seven times more likely than other groups to suffer from sexual abuse by those close to them, such as family members, care givers or those appearing in their daily routines, she added.
Victims with disabilities are less willing to report their sufferings as they are usually isolated from the rest of the society or have to depend on the assistances of their abusers, and their chances to access education about healthy relations, and sexual health are limited, lowering their awareness of the very nature of sexual abuse.
“The guide is really targeted toward self-advocates, people with disabilities, to educate themselves on abuse,” Hartley added.
“The guide is also there for supporters. “Family members may have a challenge navigating that conversation with their son or daughter.”