Alliance fights to prevent abuse of developmentally, intellectually disabled children
Child sexual abuse is at epidemic levels, but even more so when the victims are intellectually or developmentally disabled children.
Nationally, according to the Rochester-based Bivona Child Advocacy Center, one in 10 children are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthdays; among disabled children, the rate is three to six times higher.
That grim reality prompted the formation of the I/DD (for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled) Alliance of Greater Rochester in the fall of 2015. The collaboration of 12 agencies (including law enforcement, funders, and organizations that serve the developmentally disabled population) are working together to investigate, evaluate, treat and prevent sexual and physical abuse of children with disabilities.
The alliance is under the umbrella of the Bivona Center, itself a multi-disciplinary collaboration that brings together educators, law enforcement, child protective services, treatment providers and others to streamline the response to reports of abuse and ease the trauma children are subject to when they are forced to retell their stories again and again.