Sexual Assault and Prevention Resources for People with Disabilities (PwD)

People with disabilities (PwD) may face different challenges and have very different needs. Some disabilities may put people at higher risk for crimes like sexual assault or abuse. People with disabilities may be less likely to be taken seriously when they make a report of sexual assault or abuse. PwD may not understand or lack information about healthy sexuality. They may not know the kinds of touching that are good or bad (appropriate or inappropriate). This can be very hard. A person’s disability may require other people to touch them to provide care. Someone who has intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) may not be able to consent to sexual activity. Many people with IDD are survivors of sexual abuse. 

PwD experience violent victimization at rates 3-5 times higher than people without disabilities. Yet, they are less likely to receive services that help stop violence and support healing from trauma. Only 13% of survivors with disabilities receive victim services.

Massachusetts Resources

Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) 

Information on abuse and neglect, including explanations, signs of physical and sexual abuse, etc. Includes how to report abuse and neglect.

How to file a report of abuse and neglect.

DPPC hotline: 800-426-9009

Mass.gov Statewide Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors 

 Here you’ll find a collection of survivor resources throughout Massachusetts.

Mass.gov Rape Crisis Centers 

Rape Crisis Centers in Massachusetts have free, confidential services for teens and adult survivors. 

Mass.gov Domestic Violence Programs for Survivors

 If you are a victim of abuse, you are not alone. There’s more help for you (or your children) than ever before. You, and only you, can make the choice to change or end the abusive relationship. You don’t have to go through it on a daily basis. No one deserves to be abused. There are programs across the state. 

Jane Doe Inc. 

No one deserves to be abused or assaulted. No matter what you have been told, abuse to you is not your fault. You can call a domestic violence program. You can get the help you need. 

Look for programs near you.

Phone: 617-248-0922

Casa Myrna SafeLink 

SafeLink  is Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline.

Call SafeLink for:

  • Safety planning resources for survivors. You can learn how you and your family can stay safe.
  • A safe space in which to talk about your relationship or someone else’s.
  • A direct link to domestic violence programs across Massachusetts.
  • Referrals to local domestic violence services.  Other community resources may help you.
  • Support and resources for anyone who is worried about a victim of domestic violence
  • Information about domestic and dating violence

Toll-free hotline: 877-785-2020

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Massachusett Resources for People who Have Experienced Sexual Trauma 

NAMI has a resource list for people who have experienced sexual trauma including sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape.

Safe Kids Thrive 

Safe Kids Thrive provides free tools and resources to schools, childcare centers, and other youth-serving organizations to prevent child sexual abuse.

MASS Advocates Standing Strong (MASS) 

MASS has a guide for survivors of sexual abuse.

Download the Survivor Support Packet (.pdf).

National Resources

love is respect 

love is respect offers 24/7 information, support, and advocacy to young people fromf 13 to 26.  You may have questions about your romantic relationships. You may want to know the signs of dating abuse.

Want to know more about?

  • Dating
  • Personal Safety
  • Get Help
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Supporting Others
  • LGBTQIA+ Relationships
  • Breaking Up
  • Setting limits

Phone: 866-331-9474

Text: ‘LOVEIS’ to 22522

National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) 

Sexual Violence affects every part of a person’s life. Her/his body, feelings, thoughts, behaviors, spirituality and relationships with others and the outside world are examples. This is true whether it is friend or family rape, stranger rape, date rape, child sexual abuse or marital rape.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 

Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.

Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities (PwD)  

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. Some disabilities may put people at more risk for crimes like sexual assault or abuse.

ValorUS® (VALOR) 

ValorUS® (VALOR) is a California-based, national organization.

Support for Survivors

 Phone:  916-446-2520 

Respect Together

 United to end sexual abuse, assault and harrassment.

Contact form

Activating Change (End Abuse of People with Disabilities) 

Creating Pathways to Healing for Survivors with Disabilities

How Safe are Americans with Disabilities? (.pdf)

Phone: 646-457-8067

Email: hello@activatingchange.org

Victim Connect Resource Center

VictimConnect Resource Center (VCRC) is a weekday phone, chat, and text-based referral helpline operated by the National Center for Victims of Crime. 

Stalking 

You may be a victim of stalking if someone:

  • Keeps calling your phone, including hang-ups
  • Follows you and shows up wherever you are
  • Sends unwanted gifts, letters, texts, or emails
  • Damages your home, car, or other property
  • Monitors your phone calls or computer use, possibly through spyware
  • Uses technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go
  • Drives by or hangs out near your home, school, or work
  • Threatens to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
  • Does other things that control, track, or frighten you
  • Uses other people to try to get to you, like children, family, or friend

Call or text: 855-484-2846

Fact sheet created 6/11/24

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Disclaimer: INDEX is pleased to provide you this information. Please note,  this information is not comprehensive, nor is it intended to take the place of professional advice. We encourage you to check other resources of such information. No endorsement by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, DisabilityInfo.org,  INDEX, or affiliates, should be inferred. We reserve the right to remove, to modify, or to add any information at any time, for any reason, and without notice.