Seven times more sexually assaulted than the general population.

Let that sit with you for a moment.

In this season of focusing on changes and changing, why aren’t we, as a society, more outraged by this to make necessary changes to stop it?

Seven times more sexually assaulted than the general population. This is according to Abused and Betrayed, a new series by National Public Radio (NPR). According to a report obtained by NPR, the Justice Department has unpublished data on sex crimes that shows people with intellectual disabilities — women and men — are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities.

People with intellectual disabilities are SEVEN TIMES more sexually assaulted than people who don’t have intellectual disabilities.

And yet, as a nation, what are we doing about this?? The country is outraged – as it should be – by the wave of men in politics, Hollywood, and the media who show respect to women and men (Kevin Spacey) and prey on power through abuse.

BUT WHY, IN 2018, WHEN WE’RE SUPPOSEDLY SO SOCIALLY AWARE AND  ENLIGHTENED, SOCIETY CONTINUES TO IGNORE THIS EPIDEMIC?

Can you tell I’m a bit fired up about this?

I hope you are too.

This is another version of the injustices people with disabilities suffered for decades from being abused and killed in institutions.  It has to STOP!

And there are so many levels needed in stopping it.

Media.

Law enforcement.

Education.

Empowerment.

Self-esteem.

Abused and Betrayed is the best media coverage to date that covers all the above issues in this very complex issue. There are currently seven stories in the series, telling stories of people being assaulted by staff, medicaid cab drivers, and teenage boys. You’ll also hear about the people – prosecutors, therapists, and educators – bringing healing and resolution.

There’s a missing piece, though.

At the crux of this issue is we continue to have a society and a service system that struggles with seeing people of ALL ABILITIES AS SEXUAL BEINGS. When we refused or even reluctantly acknowledge, talk about, and educate people about the VALUE and POWER in their bodies, people are more susceptible to abuse.

Changes need to be made – again, on so many levels. This conversation is only beginning. But first, whether you’re a person with a disability, family member, or professional, what is one thing you can to help stop this epidemic?

I’ll share some answers tonight at 8pm (EST) live on Facebook and next week right back here.

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