The Power of Social Connection

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PowerOver the past year, the Center and NCCASA (North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault) have collaborated to develop The Power of Social Connection: Developing and coordinating sustainable support group programs for survivors of sexual violence, a support group manual and training program that will help rape crisis centers and other human service organizations learn how to create, improve, and manage support group programs.

With limited support group opportunities in North Carolina, we hope that this manual and training program will greatly expand healing services for survivors of violence across the state. Monika Johnson-Hostler, Executive Director of the NCCASA, said, “NCCASA is proud to partner in creating this comprehensive resource that sets the standard for support groups not only in North Carolina but across the country. As one of the three partners of the National Resource Sharing Project, we will share the manual with other state coalitions.”

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The Intersection of Sexual Violence and Disability

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Sexual Assault Is Everyone's Issue!It’s time to dive a bit deeper into the nuances of sexual violence and how it differentially affects certain groups of people. Although I’ve been involved in the anti-violence movement for about 5 years, something you may not know is that I’ve also done a lot of work to support folks in our community who have developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Having the opportunity to work with folks with an array of different levels of ability, both cognitively and physically, has only increased my passion for raising awareness about the intersection of sexual violence and disability status. Based on extensive research, we know that people with disabilities are at heightened risk to be sexually victimized. I hope to highlight some of what we know about this issue.

Many of us have heard the line “sexual violence does not discriminate,” and it affects people of all races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, and other forms of identity. However, though this violence affects us all, it does not do so equally. Research consistently shows that people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities are at increased risk to experience sexual violence in their lifetimes.

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