Preventing Abuse and Neglect

Recently, Amy Silverman of and her colleagues shared information about the abuse of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Arizona through a multi-episode series titled UNSAFE. We believe that this is critical information for families, and we want to acknowledge the diligent work of Amy and the folks at KJZZ to keep public awareness on this important topic. The UNSAFE series contains some shocking statistics and personal stories that may be difficult to hear.

As a member of the Arizona Governor’s Abuse and Neglect Task Force, Raising Special Kids (RSK) has been taking action to help families learn about these issues and how they can reduce, to the extent possible, the risk for their loved ones. As mentioned in the UNSAFE series, education on sexuality for individuals with developmental disabilities is a critical part of preventing and identifying abuse. RSK currently offers training on this topic titled Talking With Your Child About Sexuality.

In January, RSK will launch a new training, in partnership with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), called Recognizing Signs of Abuse and Neglect ​for Parents and Caregivers of Individuals with Disabilities to help families know what to watch for, how to report suspected abuse, and how the process of an investigation typically works. As is the case with all RSK trainings, it will be available in both English and Spanish. Visit to see dates for all our upcoming trainings. Additional resources on this important topic from the Division can be found here:

Finally, during every legislative session, RSK monitors and shares information on proposed legislation we believe would impact families of individuals with disabilities. Recently, the topic of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities has been an issue receiving attention from our legislators. Families can follow the status of proposed legislation and learn how to effectively use their voice with legislators by subscribing to our weekly email newsletter Connecting Weekly.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding this incredibly difficult topic please contact us at: 602-242-4366 or complete our online referral form.

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