Educating adults with disabilities to avoid sexual abuse - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Educating adults with disabilities to avoid sexual abuse


Eau Claire (WQOW) - For months now, people have been speaking out against sexual assault and harassment in the work place. Advocates say one group has been left out of the conversation. 

According to a report from NPR, adults with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate more than seven times that for people without disabilities. In some areas, people are fighting that shocking statistic with comprehensive sex education, by giving adults with disabilities the language and knowledge to identify abuse. 

At Reach, Inc. in Eau Claire, folks learn how to establish appropriate work-place relationships; like co-workers shake hands, not hug, as well as how to stay safe out in the community. 

"We do want our members to be able to speak up if something's happening to them at home, or here and they're not comfortable," Anne Woolever, the program director at Reach, Inc., told News 18. "So, we really try to work with, what's that language or what are those words and if this is uncomfortable, who do I talk to?"

Officials at Reach, Inc. also told News 18 that, in the more than 50 years the organization has served the community, they've never had to deal with the assault of one of its members. 

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