Could Abusive Caregivers Who Are Not Caught Facility Hop?

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 4:33pm
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 12:32pm

Individuals with intellectual and development disabilities are seven times likely to be victims of sexual assault, according to an NPR report and the Department of Justice, but what happens to those caregivers who commit abuse? 

The story of an incapacitated woman who was raped and impregnated by her caregiver has stunned the public. Some disability advocates say sexual abuse happens frequently — and the victims are not always believed. Which means if an abuser is not charged, that person could go from facility to facility. 

"So I also think it’s important that there be a mechanism to determine how many allegations of abuse or neglect have been made against an individual," said Asim Dietrich, who is with the Arizona Center for Disability Law.

Dietrich thinks the state could do a better job of compiling that data and separating the information based on those with disabilities. He also said current background checks are not sufficient and should be conducted regularly.