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Local nonprofits collaborate to improve services for sexual assault survivors with disabilities

Able South Carolina announced their partnership with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and YWCA Upper Lowlands for a three-year Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) through its Disability Grant Program. The goal of the Disability Grant Program is to create sustainable, systemic change that will result in effective services for individuals with disabilities who are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

People with disabilities experience significantly higher rates of domestic and sexual violence than people without disabilities. Risk of violent victimization is even higher for some people with disabilities.

This includes women with disabilities, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, people with psychiatric disabilities, and people with multiple disabilities.

Despite these facts, there hasn’t been a partnership as such in the Midlands, until now.

“Able South Carolina is excited about working with our partners to create a system where we can better support survivors with disabilities,” said Kimberly Tissot, Executive Director of Able South Carolina.

“Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is committed to ensuring services that are accessible to all survivors of sexual violence. This partnership will help all of our organizations to better prevent and respond to issues of intimate partner violence,” said Mary Dell Hayes, Executive Director of Sexual Trauma Services.

“At YWCA, we strive to accommodate people of all backgrounds.  It’s our quest to make sure our services are accessible for people with disabilities,” says Debra Wilson, Executive Director of YWCA Upper Lowlands.

Able SC is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that empowers individuals with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. Able SC challenges stereotypes, protects disability rights, and champions social reform. To learn more about Able SC’s programs and services please visit www.able-sc.org.

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