2006 Conference General Sessions

CROSS TRAINING DISABILITY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT PROVIDERS IN UTAH

 

 

Presenter(s)
Marilyn Hammond
Center
for Persons with Disabilities

6800 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-6800
Day Phone: 435-797-3811
Fax: 435-797-2044
Email: mhammond@cpd2.usu.edu

Presenter #2
Richard Baer

Center for Persons with Disabilities

6800 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-6800
Day Phone: 435-797-7009
Fax: 435-797-2044
Email: dick@cpd2.usu.edu

 

Presenter #3

Kathryn Monson

308 West 1000 North
Logan
UT 84322

Day Phone: 435-752-4493
Fax: 435-753-7054
Email: kathyrn@capsa.org

 

Presenter #4

Gordon Richins

6800 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-6800
Day Phone: 435-797-2832
Fax: 435-797-2044
Email: Gordon@cpd2.usu.edu

 

Unfortunately, women with disabilities are subject to the same forms of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, but these types of abuse may be experienced in unique ways, such as being handled roughly during a transfer, being made to stand for unendurable lengths of time, and being restrained. Other abuse may include experiencing demands for sexual activities in return for help, threats of abandonment, and accusations, of faking. In addition, abuse by personal assistants may include not working the expected hours, stealing money or personal items, misusing credit cards; over/under medicating, refusing to provide care, or disabling equipment (Powers & Oschwald, 2004). As these examples illustrate, women with disabilities (Sobsey & Doe, 1991; Young, Nosek, Howland & Chanpong, 1997). There are usually many more opportunities to experience abuse for women with disabilities.They also generally experience abuse for longer periods of time (Young, Nosek, Howland & Chanpong, 1997). The American Psychological Association (2005) reports that violence and abuse are significantly under-reported at all levels of society, especially for individuals who are outside the majority culture. Although abuse may sometimes result in short term or permanent disabilities, the consequences of abuse experienced by women who already have disabilities can sometimes be even more overwhelming (Hughes & Abramson, 2004).

 

It is estimated that there are approximately 130, 000 women with disabilities in Utah who have been victims of violence. Services to help these women have been limited because domestic violence/sexual assault programs lack knowledge and expertise relative to disabilities, and disability programs lack knowledge and expertise relative to domestic violence. In light of this, Utah State Universityís Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) and Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency (CAPSA) received funding from the Department of Justice to develop training and technical assistance materials to cross train domestic violence and disability organizations across Utah.

 

The Center for Persons with Disabilities is one of the 61 University Centers for Education, Research, and Services located at major universities throughout the United States, its trusts and territories. These programs are dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities through interdisciplinary pre-service preparation and continuing education, and the provision of community services, research, and dissemination. For over 25 years, the CPD has served sites across the nation, with major effort focused on the needs of Utah and of rural, minority and underserved populations.

CAPSA is a nonprofit domestic violence and sexual assault program serving Cache and Rich counties in northern Utah since the mid 1970s. It is a member of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (UDVC), Utahís network of domestic violence programs. CAPSA provides shelter and support services for survivors, cooperates with law enforcement, and has an extensive community education program.

 

The project has broad support from domestic violence and disability service programs across the state. Cooperating organizations will serve on the project advisory council, review training materials and procedures, identify members to be trained as regional trainers/technical assistants in project year two, and schedule/coordinate their members and others to participate in training. Cooperating organizations include: DSPD, Utahís social service agency supporting people with disabilities; UACS, a network of 39 private organizations providing services for people with disabilities; UDVC, a network coordinating the efforts of numerous domestic violence programs across the state; UCASA, a network coordinating the efforts of numerous sexual assault programs across the state; and USILC, a network of Centers for Independent Living across the state. Additional organizations will serve on the project advisory council and have input into overall guidance of the project.

This joint CPD/CAPSA project is focused on training disability service providers about recognizing violence against women with disabilities, accessing available resources, and making appropriate referrals to the domestic violence/sexual assault service system. Training for domestic violence/sexual assault services providers will be about disabilities, assistive technology, resources, and making appropriate accommodations, this project will also increase agency collaboration and knowledge of services.

 

The following is a summary of training topics.

Disability Service Providers

* Extent of the problem-statics

* Definition of abuse/sexual assault

* Dynamics of abuse/sexual assault

* Abuse specific to women with disabilities

* Recognizing abuse

* Barriers to women with disabilities declaring they are abused

* Legal reporting requirements

* Referring women for services

Shelter

Counseling

Protective orders

*Service gaps

 

Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Providers

* Extent of the problem-statistics

* Abuse specific women with disabilities

* Barriers to women with disabilities declaring they are abused

* Legal reporting requirements

* Types of disabilities

Blind

Deaf

Physical

Mental illness

Mental retardation/cognitive impairment

 

* Reasonable accommodations, the ADA and AT

* Service gaps

 

An educational research and development model was used to develop materials to assure they are highly effective. In project year one, an initial set of materials was drafted, reviewed by experts, revised, and field tested with approximately 40 trainees in northern Utah. Based on field test data, the materials will be revised again, and subjected to expert review. These materials will then be field tested again with approximately 40-50 trainees in each of four regions of the state (160-200 total). The CPD/CAPSA will train trainers and assist local personnel in each of these regions in year two. Based on year two field test data, final revisions to the training materials will be completed. The curriculum and related materials will then be packaged for national dissemination.

 

As a result of the projectís efforts, it is anticipated that domestic violence/sexual assault and disability organizational staff will increase knowledge in the above mentioned areas and improve service collaboration. These services in turn will result in improved survivor safety and perpetrator accountability. Trained regional personnel, validated curriculum materials, and a plan developed by the advisory council will ensure that efforts are sustained post federal funding.


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