YWCA is Selected for Sexual Assault Prevention Services
DDR Announces YWCA as First Agency for Prevention Services
YWCA Metro St. Louis’ Regional Sexual Assault Center, located in Clayton, was recently selected to offer sexual assault prevention services to developmentally disabled populations who reside in the city of St. Louis. The YWCA is the first agency to be awarded funding for sexual assault prevention services through the St. Louis Office for Developmental Disability Resources (DDR).
Individuals with developmental disabilities are among the most vulnerable casualties of violent crimes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s publication “Crime Against People with Disabilities (2008), “persons age 12 or older with disabilities experienced approximately 730,000 non-fatal violent crimes.” More than 90 percent of people with a developmental disability will experience sexual abuse, and 49 percent will experience 10 or more abusive incidents, according to published research.
To combat these national trends, DDR awarded YWCA a one year grant of $106,076 to “increase the opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to have access to education related to forming healthy relationships, sex education and prevention of sexual assault.”
The YWCA Sexual Assault Center is a leading provider of services to assault victims. “We appreciate the confidence that DDR has demonstrated through our selection to expand our services in the city to this vulnerable population,” said Adrian Bracy, CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis. In 2011, the center provided crisis intervention services to 492 victims of sexual violence; delivered therapy and other support services to 408 survivors and offered educational and prevention services to more than 9,000 individuals, including students.
The new individual and group developmental disability prevention services will begin in July and will focus on three key areas: sexuality education, forming healthy relationships and sexual assault prevention.
YWCA’s trailblazing efforts in the developmental disability community began years earlier when it convened a task force of agencies in St. Louis County that serve people with disabilities to assess problems and identify policy solutions. It is currently researching the incidence of sexual assault against people with developmental disabilities in St. Louis County, the first study of its kind in Missouri.
DDR funds 30 agencies in the city of St. Louis. YWCA could potentially impact the lives of the more than 2,000 people, ages 5 and older, which are served annually through DDR programs and services.
This new funding will allow YWCA to expand its sexual assault prevention services that have been offered for more than 20 years throughout the St. Louis region at no cost to its clients.
YWCA Metro St. Louis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women, developing youth and eliminating racism. It focuses on race equity issues and offers housing for women on the move, early learning, crisis intervention, life skills training, and youth and teen development. YWCA is celebrating 107 years of service to women, children and youth and their families in the St. Louis area.
YWCA is a proud United Way of Greater St. Louis member agency.