Women with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at a far greater risk to
experience abuse within their life span. At the Arc Greater Twin Cities, advocates are
attempting to address this problem through resource development, policy support, and education.
Throughout this past year, I have completed over 180 hours at the Arc Greater Twin Cities in the
areas of abuse prevention and public policy. I provided the Arc with support through
developing, collecting, and organizing resources, developing partnerships with local community
organizations, engaging in public policy work, and developing curriculum for use in “Girl Talk”,
an abuse prevention effort for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This
thesis will explore the issues at hand and the alarming rate of abuse against persons with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the methods section, I explore my work at the Arc
Greater Twin Cities. The conclusion of my thesis is the curriculum that I designed for “Girl
Talk”. This curriculum is split into six modules exploring different types of relationships,
boundaries within these relationships, and how self-advocates can be engaged with supporting
abuse prevention efforts in this population. This curriculum is designed to address the fact that
many women with disabilities feel that they themselves and their relationships are not valued. It
gives these women a chance to advocate for themselves, to interact with other women, and to
learn about different relationships and systems impacting their lives. The work that I contributed
at the Arc Greater Twin Cities is imperative to the Twin Cities community, because
unfortunately, there is insufficient support for women with intellectual and developmental
disabilities to assist them in developing healthy relationships.
Promoting Healthy Relationships in Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
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