This year we received a generous grant of $10,000 from the Women’s Fund of the Fox Valley Region to enhance our services provided to women and girls with differing abilities. Did you know that women living with a disability are three times more likely to experience sexual assault or relationship violence?

This. Ends. Now.

We at SOAR, with the support of the Women’s Fund, are looking to enhance the health and safety of women living with a differing ability in the Fox Valley with a two-part initiative. The first piece of this plan is a special educational series for teen girls and adult women with differing abilities including, but not limited to, healthy relationships, domestic violence and intimate partner violence awareness/prevention, and sexual health including healthy development and milestones. We hope that after completing these courses women with differing abilities will be more confident in identifying and reporting instances of violence or sexual assault, as well as preventing them as much as possible.

The second piece of our initiative is focused on engaging the wider community in our efforts to end violence against women with differing abilities through education. We will focus on expanding the number and type of presentations to community groups, agencies, first responders, and police departments to include topics related to prevention of abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking of individuals with disabilities. We want to ensure that women with differing abilities are not left out of the conversation when discussing the issues facing women in the Fox Valley and that those responding to situations of abuse and assault have training on working specifically with women with differing abilities.

We are so grateful to the Women’s Fund for providing us with the support needed to make these programs a reality. When women support each other, incredible things happen.

For more information on our Health Education and Violence Prevention Series for Women Living with a Disability, please contact Executive Director Erin N. Schultz, MSW- [email protected]

-by Lindsay Wollerman

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