WHY WE DO IT
The incidence of sexual assault amongst people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) is of epidemic levels. This information is not widely known, which makes it challenging to gain momentum for change.
In the United States there are over 7.38 million people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) and nearly 90% of them will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
This not only affects the person with IDD, but their entire caregiving support circle as well. In 2018 Joe Shapiro, an investigative correspondent with NPR, released a special weeklong series titled, “Abused and Betrayed”. He reported that people with intellectual/developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities and are at heightened risk at all moments of their daily lives. They are most likely to be assaulted by someone they know and during daytime hours.
Predators target people with intellectual disabilities because they know they are easily manipulated and will have difficulty testifying later. These crimes go mostly unrecognized, unprosecuted, and unpunished. And the abuser is free to abuse again. Police and prosecutors are often reluctant to take these cases because they are difficult to win in court.