Grant sets sight on sexual assault in facilities

DRW updates
Betty Schwieterman
Director of Systems Advocacy

The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence against Women awarded Disability Rights Washington (DRW) a three-year grant this fall.  The purpose of the grant is to improve the statewide sexual assault response system.

The project will focus on adults with disabilities who receive long-term care supports and services.

People with disabilities who require long-term care have increased risk of sexual abuse. They may live in disempowering or isolated environments. Often, people with disabilities who are victims of sexual abuse are not believed, they receive no victim services, and perpetrators are not held accountable.  

DRW partnered with the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. This team will work together to determine the needs of survivors, develop the project to make systemic change within respective statewide organizations, and improve the response to sexual violence in the lives of people with disabilities in long-term care. The three partner organizations will conduct the project needs assessment, implement grant activities and advise the project collaboratively.

Every person with a disability has the right to live free of abuse and violence. When abuse does occur the response must be timely, respectful and victim-centered.

DRW began work on the grant October 1, 2012 and will continue through September 30, 2015 to address this goal.

Freedom from abuse and neglect