Protecting our Special Needs and Vulnerable Populations
Individuals with disabilities experience victimization of violent crimes at greater rates than those without disabilities. The risk of being a victim of crime, especially a victim of sexual assault, is 4 to 10 times higher for someone with a disability. ( Source www.nmcsap.org)
Elders are abused, neglected, or exploited each day in this country and around the world. Unfortunately, the abuse is rarely reported because the victim fears retaliation, fears being institutionalized or left alone, is physically or mentally unable to report the abuse, or wants to protect the abuser especially if it is their child.
Being knowledgeable about how to recognize early warning signs and situations that increase the risk of sexual abuse will help you keep your child and other children safe. It is unfortunate that children with disabilities and other special needs experience abuse at even a higher rate.
Creating a family safety plan is a good place to start when thinking about how to keep your child safe from sexual harm or abuse. Children with disabilities are often more vulnerable and by being proactive about safety you can reduce your child's vulnerability and keep your child safe.
Parents worry about their children and want them to grow up safe and free from harm. Here are some things you can do to keep your child safe from sexual harm in program settings.
It may be hard to think of your child as having sexual feelings, needs, and interests. But, just as they are curious about bugs, airplanes, and animals, they will be curious about their bodies and other people's bodies.