Tool Kit : Sexual Assault Awareness for People with Developmental Disabilities

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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Individuals with developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. As always, our team at Elevatus Training believes that education is the first line of defense in preventing sexual abuse. With this in mind, we aim to support all your training needs, and that’s why we have created a toolkit filled with educational articles and resources to support you. Together let’s raise awareness and educate people about this issue!

Image has a light blue background and the words sexual assault awareness month on the top, on the right middle is a side profile of a face, and at the bottom it reads, “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.

2023 New to the Toolkit Resources

Sexual Right: Safety, Empowering Self-Advocates to Keep Themselves Safe

When knowledge and skills are withheld people are set up to be unsafe. People with disabilities are not asking for us to protect them, they are asking for knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe. They are saying they have the right to have what they need to protect themselves – education.

A  Prelude to Consent

Believing it’s YOUR Life and Knowing When to Say No, AND Yes. Here’s a step by step guide to help you navigate the conversation about consent with the people you work with.

Abuse Awareness and Prevention Guide

In an effort to prevent sexual assault and other forms of abuse for people with disabilities, the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) partnered with other organizations to develop the Abuse Awareness and Prevention Guide. The guide is designed to help people with disabilities and others understand and identify sexual assault and other forms of abuse. The guide provides both tools to help people prevent various forms of abuse and resources for survivors of abuse. Also, a video version of the guide is available.

Video: Consent for Kids

Consent is like being ruler of your own country…population: YOU. This is a smart, playful guide to consent and bodily autonomy for kids, but great messages for all of us!

AMAZE Videos: Personal Safety

A variety of videos about personal safety topics from by Amaze. Topics include consent, sextortion, social media, sexting, sexual harrassment, sexual assault, sex trafficing, and more. Each video also has conversation starters for parents and educators and lesson plans.

Live, Online Workshop: Best Practices for Teaching the Dynamics of Abuse

Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

For many years, educators used the cycle of violence to describe how abuse occurs. Now, best practice tells us that what is more effective is using “power and control wheels” and “equality and interdependence wheels.” But many of those tools are not cognitively accessible. Sherry Boroto, from LACASA in Michigan, and Katie Oswald, a self advocate who teaches sexuality classes with Sherry, and myself, created these wheels and lesson plans to teach the dynamics as well as review myths about abuse.We have also field tested them with people with I/DD. Join us in an online workshop on how to teach this knowledge and skills to people with I/DD.

Register here:

Articles & Website Resources

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change.

People with Intellectual Disabilities and Sexual Violence

From The Arc.

End Abuse of People with Disabilities

This website is a place to connect with others engaged in this work, to access the latest resources and research from the field, and to advance the thinking around intervention and prevention.

NPR Series: Abused and Betrayed

This series focuses on a year long investigation into the hidden epidemic of sexual assault on people with developmental disabilities.

Autism Housing Network

Ten Point Guide on Responding to Suspected Abuse of People with Developmental Disabilities

Recognizing Survivors of All Ages & Abilities This Domestic Violence Awareness Month

From the Administration for Community Living.

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) Addressing Sexual Violence & Neglect Report

Talk About Sexual Violence

From The Arc.

Access videos and accompanying resources to support health care professionals to talk to their patients with I/DD about sexual violence.

Learn more here:

Disability Justice & Violence Prevention Resource Hub

Statewide efforts support to prevent violence and enhance independence and wellness among people with disabilities.

Learn more here:


Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality: Becoming a Sexuality Educator and Trainer

A 3-Day certificate training for anyone who works with people with developmental disabilities and wants to lead sexuality education classes and staff/parent training.

Learn more here:

Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality 101

This 6-module, online course offers you a proven, nuts-and-bolts approach to discussing sexuality and responding to behaviors. You’ll come away feeling more skillful, comfortable and confident when discussing sexuality with the people you serve.

Learn more here:


Sexuality Education for People with Developmental Disabilities Curriculum

This 350-page, one-of-a-kind curriculum has been field-tested and praised by experts and laypeople alike. It’s cognitively accessible and designed for teams of self-advocates, staff and teachers to co-lead an inspiring and engaging sexuality class. There is also a section that focuses on helping individuals with I/DD learn about healthy relationships and when to recognize when things go bad.

Learn more here:

Building Healthy Relationships at Work for People with Developmental Disabilities Curriculum

This 12 lesson curriculum will help you teach people with Developmental Disabilities how to navigate all types of relationships including co-worker relationships and also, become great employees. Topics include healthy/unhealthy relationships and what to do if you are being harassed or experience abuse.

Learn more here:

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