State Representative Tom Sannicandro, who is one of three representatives for Framingham, and the Disabled Persons Protection Commission hosted a legislative briefing last Wednesday aimed at educating people with disabilities and their loved ones on how to recognize, respond to and report abuse.
“This is really an important issue for the people being abused, but it’s also important for family and friends to hear about as well,” Sannicandro said in a press release. “People with disabilities are more likely to endure threats and intimidation, so they are uniquely vulnerable to abuse, and we need to make sure we hear them when they come forward.”
The Commission cited statistics that more than 90 percent of people with developmental disabilities will experience sexual abuse at some point in their lives. Of those, 49 percent will experience 10 or more abuse incidents. Meanwhile, only 3 percent of sexual abuse cases for people with developmental disabilities will be reported.
The briefing covered all kinds of abuse, including sexual, physical, verbal, forced segregation, intimidation, abandonment and neglect, withholding of medications and financial abuse.
The briefing included videos on how to identify and report incidents of abuse, as well as talks from self-advocates and leaders of the Commission.
Sannicandro has hosted the videos on his website and is encouraging people to learn more at tomworksforus.com/recognizereportrespond.