The 2020 legislative session is just two months away - starting on Tuesday, February 11! Our public policy team has been hard at work over the summer and fall to identify issues impacting Minnesotans with disabilities and their family members statewide. We want to make sure that our public policy priorities for the 2020 session focus on solutions to promote human and civil rights, advance equity, and support true belonging in community.
Between now and the start of session, each issue of The Capitol Connector will highlight an item to be included in our legislative agenda. We’re calling it our “Issue Spotlight”. Today’s focus is sexual violence prevention.
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience sexual violence at a rate seven times higher than the rest of the population, and 66% of sexual violence incidents are perpetrated by someone they know - such as a family member, intimate partner, or staff. We can help begin to address this public health crisis by incorporating sexual violence prevention into direct support staff orientation and annual training.
Training direct support staff about sexual violence prevention, and teaching them to identify the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, can give them the skills necessary to help prevent sexual violence against people with I/DD.
The Arc Minnesota is working with a coalition of advocates from the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, Proof Alliance, the Autism Society of Minnesota, the Minnesota Council on Disability, Fraser, Upstream Arts, and more, to advance this proposal during the upcoming legislative session.
We are also meeting with service providers and trade associations to discuss the proposal, and ensure that it receives support from as many stakeholders in our community as possible.
With questions or for more information about the proposal, and to get involved in the effort to address sexual violence prevention during the upcoming session, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.