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We are the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Please join us as we forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities

Resource Directory for Service Providers

CRIME VICTIMS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Assisting Victims and Witnesses with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System: A Curriculum for Law Enforcement Officers (with Trainer’s Guide)

Institute on Disabilities, Temple University (2002), 98 pages, $15
Training module providing law enforcement officers a basic understanding of mental retardation and the impact it has on an individual’s ability to interact with criminal justice personnel. It is designed to enhance an officer’s ability to respond more effectively to victims of crime, as well as witnesses and suspects, who have mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. It includes both knowledge and skill components.
Visit the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University for more information or to order.

Beyond Labels—Working with Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness Symptoms or Substance Abuse Issues 

SafePlace, $50
Manual providing practical information, tools, and resources for domestic violence and rape crisis center staff working with survivors of trauma with symptoms of mental illness and/or substance abuse/addiction.
Visit SafePlace for more information or to order.

Crime against People with Disabilities

Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010), 16 pages, NCJ 231328
Report from the 2008 National Crime Victimization Survey including many statistical tables regarding victimization of persons with disabilities. Includes violent and property crimes and various forms of disability.
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Visit NCJRS
for abstract or to order.

Crime against Persons with Disabilities, 2008-2010—Statistical Tables

Bureau of Justice Statistics (2011), 20 pages, NCJ 235777
Tables presenting estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey of nonfatal violent victimization (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) against persons age 12 or older with disabilities, from 2008 to 2010.
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Crime Victimization in Adults with Severe Mental Illness: Comparison with the National Crime Victimization Survey

Linda A. Teplin, PhD, Gary M. McClelland, PhD, Karen M. Abram, PhD, and Dana A. Weiner, PhD, Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005 August, 62(8): 911-921
Study seeking to determine the rates of crime victimization among persons with severe mental illness by sex, race/ethnicity, and age, to compare rates with general population data taken from the National Crime Victimization Survey.
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First Response to Victims of Crime: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2010), 98 pages, NCJ 231171
Educational package, produced by the National Sheriffs' Association, looking at the impact of crime on victims and describes steps that law enforcement can take, as first responders, to meet victims' needs. Among the topics included are the special needs of victims with disabilities.
PDF
Visit NCJRS
for abstract or to order.

Gaining Insight, Taking Action: Basic Skills for Serving Victims

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2011), 89 pages, NCJ 232780
Discussion guide and 55-minute DVD including segments on victims who are Deaf or hard of hearing and victims with disabilities.
PDF – Discussion Guide
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – “Listen to My Story”
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – Substance Abuse”
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – “Underserved Victims”
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order package.

People with Intellectual Disabilities and Sexual Violence

The Arc (2009), 3 pages
Overview discussing why sexual violence is common among people with intellectual disabilities, risk factors, effects, available treatment, preventing sexual violence, and how to help a victim.
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Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities Bulletin and Toolkit

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2008), bulletin 15 pages, NCJ 223965; toolkit 7 pages, NCJ 223966
Bulletin and toolkit providing a snapshot of the scope and dynamics of an OVC-funded demonstration project. With technical assistance and monitoring from SafePlace, 10 agencies throughout the U.S. worked to improve the local response of criminal justice personnel and victim services providers to people with disabilities. Sections address collaborating, conducting a needs assessment, making a plan, implementing the plan, continued listening to the community, and sustainability.
HTML – Bulletin
HTML – Toolkit

Special Collection: Violence in the Lives of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

VAWnet
Extensive resource collection includes:

  • a range of materials on Deaf culture, oppression, etiquette, accessibility in a victim service setting, training tools, and more;
  • an overview of best practices in using interpreters and working with Deaf victims/survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence; and 
  • links to organizations serving Deaf victims/survivors.

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Stop the Violence, Break the Silence Training Guide and Resource Kit

SafePlace, $170
Curriculum and kit providing replicable models and tools to build prevention, education, and intervention programs for people with disabilities within a domestic violence, sexual assault, or disability service agency. Full training package includes 6-module training guide, resource kit, and closed caption video. 
Visit SafePlace for more information or to order.

Supporting People with Disabilities: Advocacy Strategies for Legal Advocates

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (2004), 14 pages
Pamphlet designed for legal advocates working with people who have one or more disabilities and who have experienced sexual assault. Sections include advocacy tips, information and referrals, criminal justice strategies, and more.
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Understanding the Needs of the Victims of Sexual Assault in the Deaf Community

Council on Crime and Justice (2005), 115 pages, NCJ 212867
Study of the opinions of service providers for Deaf sexual assault victims and members of the Deaf community, which sought to identify service gaps and ways law enforcement agencies can be a more effective resource for Deaf victims.
PDF
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for abstract or to order a copy.

Victims with Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response: Techniques for First Responders Called to Help Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2011) DVD 72 minutes, guidebook 70 pages, NCJ 231932
Training DVD and guidebook, developed under the guidance of a national advisory board, demonstrating effective techniques for first responders who have been called to the scene of a crime in which the victim has a disability. It not only provides guidelines for interacting with adult and adolescent victims of crime who have communication and/or intellectual disabilities, but also helps law enforcement personnel gain a deeper understanding of the lives, personal attributes, and abilities of individuals with disabilities.
PDF – Guidebook
Video – WMV Video Clip
Video – QuickTime Video Clip
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order the package.

Victims with Disabilities: The Forensic Interview—Techniques for Interviewing Victims with Communication and/or Cognitive Disabilities

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2012), DVD 56 minutes, trainer’s guide 72 pages, NCJ 234678
Training DVD, developed under the guidance of a national advisory board, demonstrates effective techniques for first responders who have been called to the scene of a crime in which the victim has a disability. It not only provides guidelines for interacting with adult and adolescent victims of crime who have communication and/or intellectual disabilities, but also helps law enforcement personnel gain a deeper understanding of the lives, personal attributes, and abilities of individuals with disabilities. A trainer's guide accompanies this video.
PDF – Guidebook
Video – WMV Video Clip
Video – QuickTime Video Clip
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order the package.