Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic

Equity, opportunity and inclusion cannot be achieved when persons with developmental disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be victims of crime than people. It is vital that persons with disabilities learn how to protect themselves.  In the call to action video “Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: The Silent Epidemic”, Molly and Kecia speak out to peers, organizations and the general public. In their public service call to action video “Abuse of Persons with Disabilities:  The Silent Epidemic, “Molly and Kecia present their stories to explain why they are speaking out to peers. They understand that persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities are especially at risk, most significantly because of learned dependence on a caregiver authority figure.   As self-advocate leaders affiliated with numerous advocacy organizations, including the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), they have long recognized that abuse is a pervasive and often hidden crime. They know that important first steps towards prevention are raising awareness of the problem along with teaching persons with disabilities about risks and ways to communicate with others. To follow up on plans of the SCDD Self-Advocates Advisory Committee that addressed abuse of persons with disabilities in California developmental centers, Molly and Kecia call upon their brothers and sisters to learn how to report abuse and protect themselves.   In their their message Molly and Kecia ask all victims, including those who suffer under domestic violence, elder and child abuse, to join together to stop these crimes across our many communities. The video is offered as an easy-to-understand call to action. Please share, organize and prevent!   Learning Objectives:  Describe breadth of abuse problem among persons with disabilities; Explain various forms of abuse; Discuss ways to communicate about and report abuse.

Mark Starford and Molly Kennedy