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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

An Update from the NCIL Violence and Abuse Task Force

As the NCIL conference approaches, we reflect on the beginning of the Violence and Abuse Task Force. It came from a resolution that was passed by the NCIL membership in 2006.

The Task Force has lead several efforts since that time, including workshops and conferences that NCIL helped coordinate in conjunction with other victim services groups. Our Task Force is proud of our small successes over time, but much remains to be done.

We hope that since the inception of the Task Force we have helped people. The only true measure of our success comes from those people who have experienced violence and sought support. Those who might have found help and healing from informed and compassionate peers and colleagues in our Centers for Independent Living and advocates in other fields can be the only true measure of our success.

We know more now about victimization and people with disabilities than we did in 2006. Data is now included in the National Crime Victimization Survey. The Bureau of Justice Statistics released the first data in 2009, then again in 2011. See more information on the latest figures (PDF).

There have been a lot of changes since then, and many things that have stayed the same. However, there has been movement. In May, the Office of Victims of Crime released a document summarizing three years’ worth of efforts. The final report, “Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services” synthesizes findings and presents a set of recommendations to drive broad, cross-cutting strategic change in the victim assistance field. Read the report (PDF). 

From the Executive Summary:

Report findings reflect the sobering reality that although some violent crime rates may be decreasing, the incidence of other types of victimization in this country—including crime perpetrated in cyberspace, human trafficking, and crime committed against older people and those with dis-abilities—may not even be captured by traditional survey instruments or reported to law enforcement.

The report includes issues related to people with disabilities in other sections as well. This alone is a step in the right direction. It serves to inform the work of the Task Force, but also the broader work of the victims’ services field. These efforts acknowledge the victimization of people with disabilities and the need for additional work.

You can join the efforts. The NCIL Violence and Abuse Task Force generally meets via teleconference on the first Thursday of each month at 2:00 Eastern. For more information, please contact Jan Derry or Roberta Sick,

NCIL’s Violence and Abuse Task Force members will be presenting a workshop during the upcoming NCIL conference. Please join us for:

  • Serving the Victim and Perpetrator: Considerations for Centers for Independent Living – Saturday, July 27 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

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