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Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities Toolkit
Publication Date: October 2008
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About This Guide

Purpose of This Project

OVC funded Promising Practices in Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities (hereafter referred to as Promising Practices), a 3-year discretionary cooperative agreement (number 2002-VF-GX-K005), to improve local criminal justice and service provider response to people with disabilities, both within each subgrantee agency and throughout the communities they serve. This toolkit and the companion bulletin are products of the grant, which was in effect from 2002 to 2006.

Through a competitive application process, 10 victim services, law enforcement, and disability services organizations from throughout the country were chosen to participate in the project. Each subgrantee developed its own collaborative partnerships, comprehensive needs assessment, strategic plan, evaluation process, and sustainability plan, enabling each to bring proven techniques and practices to bear on the unique situations in each city, county, or region. OVC chose SafePlace to administer the project and monitor the work of the 10 subgrantees.

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Using This Publication

This toolkit is a guide and resource for organizations seeking to improve their skills and response to crime victims with disabilities. It is designed to benefit a wide range of entities and explore a variety of issues, but its primary use is for identifying and addressing the issues and obstacles that people with disabilities encounter in the aftermath of abuse or victimization.

The information gathered, lessons learned, and progress made during the grant period was instrumental in developing this resource, which offers practical advice and examples that organizations may use to replicate Promising Practices into similar project activities and outcomes in their communities.

Those who might benefit from the tools and strategies contained in this toolkit include—

  • Municipalities.
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
  • Victim service programs and advocates.
  • State adult and child protective services personnel.
  • Domestic violence and sexual assault programs.
  • Social service systems, agencies, and workgroups.
  • Local nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups working with people with disabilities.
  • Other entities and frontline personnel charged with serving and assisting people with disabilities.
  • Anyone interested in gaining knowledge about and taking steps to stop the victimization of people with disabilities in their community.

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OVC would like to acknowledge the following persons and organizations for their contributions:

  • Judith Barrett and Susan Henry of Ability1st
  • Sgt. Don Priddy, Susie Toliver, and Bedsy Lee of the Carbondale Police Department
  • Robin VanderLaan of the Chadwick Center for Children and Families
  • Deputy Shirley Collins of the Lafourche Sheriff’s Department
  • Kathy Bennett of the Network of Victim Assistance
  • Edwina Knox-Betty and Kara Sedore of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence
  • Dr. Jenny Manders, who worked with the Partnership Against Domestic Violence through the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
  • Denise Roy and Marianne Winters of the Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts
  • Michael Mandel of the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault
  • Tory Dixon and Janet Shaw of the Stavros Center for Independent Living
  • Laura Wells, Laura Benjamin, and Cindy Green of the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program
  • Dianne King Akers, Wendie Abramson, Rand Metcalfe, Stephanie Horgan, and Meghan Kearns of SafePlace

This toolkit was created from a compendium of resources developed by SafePlace. Those resources were distilled into this toolkit under the auspices of OVC staff and the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC). OVC TTAC assists victim service providers, advocates, and other allied professionals in learning new skills and adopting best practices that will enhance their ability to provide quality victim services.

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