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By on March 19, 2024

Disability Awareness Month: Resources for the Anti-Gender Based Violence Movement

Since 1987, March has been recognized as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NDDAM). For many disability rights and service organizations, this is a time to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life, and the barriers that people with disabilities face.  For sexual and intimate partner violence prevention practitioners, NDDAM provides an opportunity to develop skills, resources, and understanding of the specific challenges that people with developmental disabilities encounter in preventing and addressing sexual violence. It can also be a springboard to learn about the history of disability justice.

People with Developmental Disabilities (DD) experience sexual and domestic violence at much higher rates but have historically not been included in shaping solutions. Preventionists can partner with people with DD and tailor prevention efforts to be more accessible, relevant, and effective. Fostering solidarity and collaboration between  violence prevention practitioners and disability communities can lead to more comprehensive and intersectional approaches that prioritize the safety and well-being of all individuals.

Additionally, many anti-gender-based programs are not accessible and create increased barriers for people with disabilities to access care and healing. Despite immense barriers, self-advocates in the disability community are making huge steps to advocate for disability justice in prevention and advocacy spaces. 

As Lydis X.Z. Brown said in their Plenary at the 2021 National Sexual Assault Conference, abelism is at the root of all forms of oppression, laying the foundations for white supremacy and colonialism and fueling violence against, black, brown, queer and disabled people. 

Below are several resources to strengthen your internal and external efforts around disability justice. Understanding the depth of how ableism is embedded into our culture and systems, and how it shapes life for folks with disabilities is a long and complex journey of learning and unlearning, and can’t be done in a day, these resources are meant to offer a spring-board for becoming a better advocate and preventionist. 

Written Articles, Guides and Resources

Abused and Betrayed, NPR coverage of Sexual Violence and Disability Communities 

This NPR series follows real-life stories of folks with disabilities in a year-long investigation to illustrate the depth of sexual violence against the disability community, and the lack of access and resources that are available to survivors. Content warning: this article contains personal recounts of sexual violence that can be triggering for some readers.

Sexual Violence and the Disability Community

This article, written by American Progress, explores the silent epidemic of sexual violence against people with disabilities, and how myths about people with disabilities and inequities in access, education and social justice movements create breakdowns in care. 

  • This article features a companion discussion guide for people working at the intersections of disability justice and reproductive justice to address internal biases and gaps in programs and policies that inhibit access to people with IDD.


Text: Housing, Disability Justice and Sexual Violence Prevention. Image shows illustration of folks looking off into the distance, one person is in a wheelchair and holding binoculars. The other two are standing and pointing.

Housing, Disability Justice, and Sexual Violence Prevention: a Four-Part Series

This PreventConnect blog series explores the intersections of disability justice, housing access, and sexual violence prevention. Future blogs will cover specific barriers to housing for people with disabilities and strategies for sexual violence prevention at this intersection.


Our Lives, Our Choices, Our Rights!

Written by self-advocates with the Rainbow Support Groups of Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS), this online guidebook centers lived experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ+ self-advocates, in order to help people better understand and support LGBTQ+ people with IDD. The guide includes personal stories, advocacy for inclusive sex education and letters to self-advocates and friends, family and supporters.

Disability Justice, Violence Prevention, and Abolitionism Curriculum

This online learning resource, written in partnership between Respect Together and Indiana Disability Justice 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.

Disability Justice & Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Toolkit for SAAM 2023

This toolkit, created by Indiana Disability Justice, provides resources for people interested in building their skills in practicing primary prevention with people with disabilities. Topics include:

  • Creating protective environments and increasing social inclusion
  • Promoting healthy sexuality
  • Using accessible community and organizational evaluation
  • Risk and Protective factors
  • Personal stories and knowledge from people with disabilities.

The link above navigates readers to a google form, where they can order the toolkit directly to their inbox. 


Image shows graphic illustration of four people standing in a circle talking. One is in a wheelchair. All are holding books and backpacks.

Disability Justice and Primary Prevention: 2-part podcast series

This podcast series features a conversation with Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams, co-founder of Indiana Disability Justice, about health equity, disability justice and how organizations are being called to deconstruct abelism at the fabric of how they were created and operate. 

Part 1: Moving at the Speed of Trust

Part 2: Resources for Practitioners


Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This YouTube video series, hosted by Liz Weintraub, Association of University Centers on Disabilities Advocacy Senior Advocacy Specialist, highlights current issues and hot topics in disability policy. Past guests of “Tuesdays with Liz” include U.S. Senators, AUCD’s President Elect, and key members of the disability community. 

Web Conferences and Trainings

Historical & Cultural Context for Disability Justice & Primary Prevention

This web conferences introduces attendees to disability frameworks, intersectionality, institutionalization, and the Indiana Disability History Project. Speakers will offer a Q&A portion for participants to hear from people with disabilities regarding their experiences with institutionalization in Indiana.

  • This web conference is one of 30 created and archived by the Indiana Disability Justice Coalition. To access the full library, click here.

Sexual Wellness for People with Cognitive Disabilities as Sexual Violence Primary Prevention

This web conference contexualizes sexual wellness for people with disabilities as a strategy for sexual violence prevention across the social ecological model, featuring background from Indiana Disability Justice and a panel of advocates and self-advocates in the IDD community.

Advancing Disability Justice Through Sexual Violence Prevention: Including Disabled Youth as Stakeholders in Our Work

This two-part mini-series, hosted by VALOR, addresses frameworks for understanding disability justice, particularly through the lens of decolonization and indigenous wisdom and offers participants tools to explore how the intersections of ableism, racism, ageism may manifest in intergenerational relationships.