Sexual Assault and People with Disabilities

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. People with disabilities are victimized by crime at higher rates than the rest of the population, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Sexual assault and abuse of people with disabilities often goes unreported. If you or someone you care about has a disability and has been sexually assaulted or abused, the most important thing to know is that it is never the victim’s fault. Help and support are available.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) provides information for people with disabilities that includes resources for getting help, such as:

  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) which will connect you with your local sexual assault service provider. They may have an advocate in your area who is specially trained to provide the right kind of support and assistance for your particular situation.
  • Anonymous online chat with a support specialist trained by RAINN at online.rainn.org. The support specialists who answer hotline chats are specially trained to respond with respect, patience, and understanding.
  • If you are deaf, you can access help via video phone at 1-855-812-1001. Learn about other deaf services at The National Domestic Violence Hotline or contact the Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN) by video phone at  202-559-5366 for legal, medical, system advocacy, and survivor support services.

If you suspect a person is being abused, that person may be considered a vulnerable adult under Texas law. Depending on the situation and location, you may be considered a mandatory reporter. Go the RAINN website to learn more about mandatory reporting in Texas.

Visit the RAINN website to find more information for people with disabilities.