In the first phase of this project, Vera focused on 

  • studying the factors that contribute to abuse of children with disabilities;
  • determining what steps can be taken to prevent abuse; and 
  • recommending holistic responses involving victim and disability services, law enforcement, police, schools, and community members. 

To accomplish these goals, Vera: 

  • reviewed literature and conducted informational interviews;
  • convened a national roundtable discussion;
  • engaged experts from: people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, advocates, and law enforcement personnel; and
  • published a research and policy brief titled Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot. 

In an additional phase of the project, Vera is continuing its partnership with the Ms. Foundation and using prior research to create a blueprint for a national strategy to address sexual abuse of children with disabilities. The blueprint will outline recommendations to help prevention, intervention, and accountability efforts consider the needs of children with disabilities.