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By on January 3, 2024

New Virtual Learning Resource on Disability Justice and Violence Prevention

This blog was written by Priscilla Klassen and Ashleigh Klein-Jimenez 


In 2018, NPR launched a special series titled “Abused and Betrayed,” giving voice to survivors of sexual assault with developmental disabilities who shared their experiences in their own words and reached a wide audience. Not only did the series highlight the high victimization rates that people with developmental disabilities experience, but it also called attention to the extreme gaps in both sexual violence prevention and intervention that exist for people with disabilities in general.

A new learning resource and curriculum from Respect Together (formerly Pennsylvania Coalition to Advance Respect/PCAR) and Indiana Disability Justice (IDJ) provides an opportunity to build capacity to work with people with disabilities, and enhance and expand prevention and response strategies.  This free, self-paced resource is broken up into nine sections and provides different learning modalities including pre-recorded web conferences, articles, essays, toolkits, and tip sheets. . The curriculum starts out by building a foundation for disability justice before moving on to cover specific types of disability and the intricacies of ableism, access, and intersectionality.

The materials culminate by honing in on the often overlooked topics of ableism and prevention with materials such as “Ableism and Violence: A Plain Language Guide” and  PreventConnect’s podcast episode “Disability Justice and Primary Prevention: Moving at the Speed of Trust.” Many of the included resources center the leadership and expertise of people with disabilities, and showcase examples of how people with disabilities are preventing sexual violence in their own communities through strategies like social connectedness, policy change, and sexual health promotion.

People with disabilities experience a higher burden of sexual violence and this resource can help prevention practitioners further develop their knowledge around the linkages between ableism, sexual violence, disability justice, and prevention. Start your journey through the resources here.