#7xmore

Haven’t heard of that hashtag? Probably not. I googled it this morning and at least in Googleland, it doesn’t exist.

Care to wager what it means?

Anyone? Bueller…Bueller?

If you follow me a bit, you may have heard me refer to this ugly statistic. According to the U.S. Justice Department, people with developmental disabilities are SEVEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED.

Where is the #metoo outcry on this? It’s pretty quiet.

Last year National Public Radio ran an excellent series called Abused and Betrayed on this silent epidemic. It’s a tough listen, but a must if you’re committed to changing the quality of life for so many with disabilities.

The stories in the series are heartbreaking because of the violence of the assaults of course, but also because many of the victims never had someone talk to them about sexuality, healthy boundaries, that they could say NO, fight back, and tell someone, and that they would be believed.

That’s the real heartbreak. So much pain. So easily preventable.

It’s been over a year since NPR aired the series. In that year I cannot get #7xmore out of my head and heart. Something has to change. That statistic has to be attacked as brutally as the predators are with their victims.

We need education about sexual ableism, healthy relationships, strong boundaries, sexual advocacy, and quite frankly, transforming how people with disabilities should be seen as empowered, sexual beings.

This is the fuel behind Radiant Abilities competing for $50,000 to begin a curriculum in schools and agencies to eradicate #7xmore. Please check out the details of how YOUR VOTE can make this possible. (Note: link can only be shared through social media, so go to the pinned post. You can also vote once every 24 hours until April 1.)

What better way to wrap up Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy (also a developmental disability) Awareness Month than to do something proactive about this epidemic?

And yes, at the very place you vote, I’ll be live tomorrow to discuss this and my initial heartbreaking introduction to this topic.

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