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Silence = Violence Abuse Prevention Webinar


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Our Alarming Reality! Abuse of Persons with Disabilities and What We Can Do About It.
In 2014 the National Crime Victim Survey revealed that people with disabilities face a greater risk of being victimized compared to individuals without disabilities. Studies expose an epidemic rate of violent victimization.

Slides from a webinar featuring California self-advocates Molly Kennedy and Kecia Weller. They are joined by Teresa Favuzzi, Executive Director of the CA Foundation for Independent Living Centers. The team shares ways all of us can make a difference in our communities. Let’s learn more to prevent more. Together we can curb this epidemic!

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Silence = Violence Abuse Prevention Webinar

  1. 1. Empowering People with Disabilities to Recognize and Report Abuse
  2. 2. Webinar Hosts: Teresa Favuzzi Director CFILC Kecia Weller Disability Advocate Molly Kennedy Disability Advocate
  3. 3. 1. Human Rights 2. Silence = Violence Network 3. The Abuse Epidemic 4. Education and Safety 5. Community Awareness 6. Resources Webinar Agenda
  4. 4. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Promote - Defend - Reinforce Human Rights For All Article #16: Freedom From • Exploitation • Violence • Abuse Human Rights United Nations Logo
  5. 5. Purpose • Create a public awareness campaign • Share strategies: realistic and accessible • Resource Website • Adult Abuse Prevention Month – June 2017 NETWORK Activities
  6. 6. Abuse • Abuse can happen to anyone! • We are victimized at a higher rate. • We play an important role in educating the community about abuse and prevention. disability no disability
  7. 7. The Abuse Epidemic Abuse is a way to gain and maintain power over a person. Abuse can be subtle or overt. National Domestic Violence Hotline -
  8. 8. People with disabilities are “more likely" to be abused than their peers without disabilities. • Thought of as defenseless • Higher dependence on care givers • Have fewer self-protection skills The Abuse Epidemic
  9. 9. People with Disabilities • Most of the time know their offender. • Report crime less frequently. • Their disability can make it difficult to report. • Reporting and investigation is often delayed. • Abuse that happens in programs is often treated as an employment issue, and NOT reported. Abuse Facts
  10. 10. 2012 survey: More than 70% of people with disabilities had been abused. Abuse Facts People with disabilities are abused at a higher rate: DOJ Victims of Crime 2015
  11. 11. Acquaintance (41%) Stranger (31%) Partner (15%) Other relative (9%) Unknown (4%) Abuse Facts Who Commits the Abuse? People with disabilities are abused at a higher rate: DOJ Victims of Crime 2015
  12. 12. 50% of all violence occurs against people with multiple disabilities Abuse Facts 68% rapes/sexual assaults 56% aggravated assaults 50% simple assaults 37% robberies
  13. 13. Abuse Facts - Children About 1 in 4 children with a disability will experience violence 20% will be victims of physical violence 14% will be victims of sexual violence
  14. 14. 2013: Violent crime was more than 3 times higher for persons with disabilities 2009 to 2013: Rate of assault (serious injury) against persons with disabilities rose 57% Violent Crime 57% People with disabilities are abused at a higher rate: DOJ Victims of Crime 2015
  15. 15. • Experience more abuse • Not believed • Loss of home, job or friends • Compliant “easy targets” • Do not know their rights • Difficulty identifying abuse • Lack of education about safety Reasons for Not Reporting FEAR BARRIERS
  16. 16. Over 70% of abuse cases against adults with disabilities go unreported. Domestic Violence & Disability Reporting Facts 70%
  17. 17. Domestic Violence & Disability 5% 70% Reporting Facts Crimes against people with disabilities that are prosecuted. Crimes against people without disabilities that are prosecuted
  18. 18. Typical Types of Abuse • Physical • Neglect and Disability • Sexual • Financial • Emotional
  19. 19. Typical signs can include: bruises, wounds, broken bones, burns or unexplained injuries. Acts of violence, such as: beating, shoving, shaking, kicking, burning, or biting. Physical Unwanted contact with your body. A person uses their body or object to hurt another on purpose.
  20. 20. Neglect and Disability A person is not being taken care of - or abandoned. Not getting needed personal care, adequate food or medications. A caregiver refusing to help the person Someone breaks disability equipment on purpose.
  21. 21. Sexual Abuse When person is forced to do sexual acts. Can include verbal, gestures or sexual contact. When force is immediate, it’s sexual assault. • Unwanted advances • Unwanted pain or humiliation • Transmit sexual diseases • Use of objects without consent
  22. 22. Kecia’s Story: Reporting Bus trip: Unwanted touch Making a report: Law enforcement experience
  23. 23. Someone acts in a way that causes fear or harm. • Being yelled at, bullied, threatened, or isolated. • Feel unsafe and unsure • Control what you do • Fear of revenge • Threatened with physical harm Emotional/Intimidation
  24. 24. Molly’s Story: Intimidation Using authority to gain control: Verbal and written threats to damage your reputation. • Volunteer Advocate • Expressive about policies • Office filed abuse report • Investigated • Case dismissed • Disability training needed
  25. 25. Taking financial advantage of the person. Gaining control over someone’s money. • Stealing money or credit cards • Forcing person to use ATM card • Forcing person to buy a gift • Forcing person to lend money Financial
  26. 26. Kecia’s Story: Financial Abuse Unauthorized ATM debit card withdrawal • Provider used ATM card • Reported to social worker • Filed report with police • Investigated • Person prosecuted
  27. 27. Safety Plans can include: • Identification card • Emergency contacts in cell phone. • Identifying a “Trusted Person”. • Joining advocacy and social groups. • Being an active community member. Creating a Personal Plan
  28. 28. • Lack experience with disabilities. • Need experience with asking open ended questions. • Provide accommodations. • People with disabilities are training partners. The Police Chief Magazine, 2014: Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice
  29. 29. Law Enforcement • Plenty of time to tell the story. • Interviewer uses understandable words. • Meet 1:1, “private safe place”. • Have few distractions. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
  30. 30. Making a Report If you are reporting for someone, you are asked: • Why are you concerned? • Have you seen or heard abusive behavior? • Does the person have medical issues? • Does the person have support (family, caregiver)? • You are protected from liability (civil and criminal) • and against retaliation by an employer. • You don’t need to prove abuse!
  31. 31. Mandated Reporters Any person who has full or occasional responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult. Reporters include: supervisors, licensed staff or care overseer, health practitioner, APS employee or law enforcement. Report if? • The person reports abuse or an incident is observed. • An unexplained injury where abuse is suspected.
  32. 32. Mandated Reporters When to report? Verbal report immediately or as soon as practical, follow up with a written report within two days. Who makes the report? The person who has direct knowledge. What type of abuse should be reported? Physical, neglect, financial, abandonment, abduction, treatment that results in harm, pain or mental suffering. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15630-15632 Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Abuse Civil Protection Act Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15700 Protective Placements and Custody of Endangered Adults Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15703-15705.40 Protective Services Cal. Pen. Code § 368 Crimes Against Elders and Dependent Adults
  33. 33. Community Awareness Create or join an Abuse Awareness Coalition Community organizations that focus on educating the public about the frequency of abuse. Education and Outreach
  34. 34. Making a Difference • Join groups • Educate law enforcement • Encourage reporting • Train care providers • Advocate for better laws
  35. 35. Resources Call 911 - if you are in danger and need help right away Crisis Text Hot Line: Text “GO” to 741741 National Domestic Violence Hot Line 800-799-SAFE Adult Protective Services (APS) Each County has an agency. Immediate Links & Publications Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Publication: SafetyNet “Prevent Abuse and Neglect” National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability Pathways to Justice and additional victim/law enforcement resources The Arc National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability Disability Rights California (DRC) 800-776-5746. Publication: “Reporting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse: It is YOUR Duty” Public Service Video Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic California Family and Domestic Violence Referral Directory: Publication County-specific resources for family and domestic violence
  36. 36. You Tube Video: Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic • Abuse is never the fault of the person. • Listen - Observe - Report • Raise your voice to stop abuse! Thank you Kecia Weller Molly Kennedy