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Welcome to the Not In Our State Summit 2015 at the University of Montana in beautiful Missoula, Montana. 
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Monday, November 9 • 10:00am - 10:50am
The Rural Institute’s Work to End the Victimization of People with Intellectual Disabilities

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Session Description: People with intellectual disabilities (ID) are at increased risk for domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of interpersonal violence. Multiple research studies underscore the gravity of the problem of violence against persons with ID. Individuals in this population may be easily targeted for victimization due to a desire to please others, dependence on others for personal assistance, a misperception of the potential offender as a friend and thus underestimating the dangerousness of a situation, and, a difficulty in identifying and labeling their treatment as abusive. Unique risks for sexual assault may include a lack of knowledge about sex and intimate relationships, a desire for a relationship even if abusive, being perceived as 'easy prey,' and being more easily coerced into sexual activities. People with ID who are victimized may have limited ways to get help, access a safe place, or obtain victim services. Community-based domestic violence and sexual assault programs do not uniformly address disability-related abuse nor offer accessible services for crime victims with ID. Clearly, there is a pressing need for educational programs that meet the unique safety-related needs of people with ID. To address this major societal need, UM researchers and colleagues have partnered with people with ID on a ground-breaking project to address IPV in this population. People with intellectual disabilities are involved in every phase of the research. We believe that the participation of people with ID is essential to developing an intervention that is accessible and responsive to unique barriers to safety experienced by people with ID, as well as generating research results perceived to be useful to the community. With underpinnings in self-determination theory, self-efficacy theory, principles of self-advocacy, and the philosophy of independent living, The Safety Class is designed to encourage participants to build their capacity for personal safety. In this presentation, we will describe the community-based participatory research process involved in developing and testing a community-based, multi-session, accessible group safety program for adults with ID. We will also share results of our pilot test and the status of our ongoing, groundbreaking national randomized, controlled evaluation of The Safety Class. The presentation will include a description and examples of how the program addresses self-advocacy, self-care, the nature and dynamics of IPV in the context of ID, safety planning strategies, healthy relationships, communication skills, and self-efficacy skills. It is hypothesized that participants in The Safety Class will report greater improvements than participants in the control group on measures of knowledge of healthy relationships, abuse, safety planning, enhanced safety and communication skills, and safety self-efficacy. If successful, this study will advance the knowledge of disability and violence researchers, victim assistance programs, and disability service providers, regarding ID as a risk factor for IPV and the malleability of self-protective factors through intervention. This project is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Rosemary B. Hughes, senior research scientist in the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana, is the principal investigator.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge of the nature and scope of interpersonal violence in the context of intellectual disability Understanding the importance of using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in research on violence against people with intellectual disabilities Understanding the development and evaluation of a group safety intervention for people with intellectual disabilities


Rosemary Hughes, PhD, University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities Trinity Martel Kaycie Murphy Kelly

Rosemary Hughes, PhD, University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities; Trinity Martel; Kaycie Murphy; Kelly Valentine

Monday November 9, 2015 10:00am - 10:50am
UC 326

Attendees (1)