In My Jurisdiction: Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults. A curriculum for law enforcement

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1 In My Jurisdiction: Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults A curriculum for law enforcement This product developed as a collaboration between: SafePlace (www.safeplace.org) Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services & Family Eldercare (www.familyeldercare.org) This project was supported by Grant No EW-AX- K001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. SafePlace, 2007

2 In My Jurisdiction: Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults Contents A training curriculum, In My Jurisdiction: Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults. This curriculum provides resources and tools for law enforcement officers to respond to and investigate family violence and sexual assault crimes against these three populations. This curriculum may be submitted to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) for continuing education credits. (For more information, see the TCLEOSE website, or call (512) ) A PowerPoint presentation to use in conjunction with the manual for training. To view as a presentation, click on view from the menu bar, and select full screen mode. Reference cards with tips for working with crime victims with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults, as well as resource information. The training curriculum and the other materials contained on this CD-ROM were developed by SafePlace (Travis County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survival Center), Family Eldercare, Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services (DAWCAS), and a sergeant with the Austin Police Department.

3 In My Jurisdiction Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) of SafePlace with Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services (DAWCAS) & Family Eldercare

4 Copyright 2007 SafePlace. All rights reserved. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, except for materials which are reproduced for educational purposes by law enforcement agencies with proper acknowledgement given to SafePlace, Austin, Texas. Inquiries should be addressed to: SafePlace Wendie H. Abramson, LMSW Director of Disability Services ASAP P. O. Box Austin, Texas afe lace.org (512) (512) (business TTY) Disclaimer The In My Jurisdiction -- Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults curriculum is expressly intended for educational purposes. The guide does not provide advice regarding medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual case and is not meant as legal advice. SafePlace does not endorse any specific agency, organization, product, service, or other resource listed in this curriculum. Such resources are included for informational purposes only, and SafePlace assumes no responsibility for claims, warranties, views, or opinions of any manufacturer, company, service, or individual listed in the curriculum. Resource names, addresses, telephone numbers, and website addresses are accurate at the time of publication. SafePlace cannot assume any responsibility for changes that may occur after publication. Case studies utilized in this curriculum are based on actual experiences of individuals with disabilities and older adults. Identifying details were changed to protect confidentiality. Produced by: SafePlace, Austin, Texas

5 Acknowledgements We thank the many people with and without disabilities, young and older adults who have come forward as crime victims of family violence, caregiver abuse, sexual assault, and other crimes. With each additional disclosure, our society becomes more aware of the scope of these crimes and can take steps to prevent and respond to them. We also thank the countless professionals who are committed to providing accessible justice to crime victims with disabilities and older adults. This manual was authored by Dianne King Akers, M.Ed., and Cema Scannapieco Mastroleo, M.Ed., of SafePlace; and was edited by Wendie H. Abramson, LMSW, of SafePlace. We would like to thank Mary E. Wambach of Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services (DAWCAS) for her many contributions to this manual, including but not limited to the sections on working with people who are deaf. We also thank Joyce Hefner of Family Eldercare for her contributions related to older adults. Likewise, we thank Sergeant Mike J. Alexander of the Austin Police Department for his guidance and input into this manual. We also extend our gratitude to the following individuals for their expert review and feedback of the manual: Vonnie Basham, LBSW, MSW, CDIiii, Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services Sergeant Liz Donegan, Austin Police Department, Sex Crimes Unit Sergeant Michael Harmon, Cedar Park Police Department Leslie Hill, J.D., SafePlace attorney Chief of Police Harold Q. Thomas, Hutto Police Department Barbara Voisin, domestic violence advocate, retired Our gratitude to Janice Green, Program Specialist, Office on Violence Against Women, for her support, review, and input on this manual. This manual was partially based on: Robbi, N.J., and Mastroleo, C.S. (2005). Responding to violent crimes against persons with disabilities: A manual for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and court personnel. Abramson, W.H. (Ed.) Austin, TX: Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) of SafePlace. This project was supported by Grant No EW-AX-K001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

6 Contents Using your mouse, click on underlined sections below that you wish to review. This will take you directly to the identified section of the curriculum. Introduction. 1 Module 1 Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults 2 Prevalence of Abuse. 3 Barriers to Investigations... 4 Cultural Competence... 6 Anti-Discrimination Laws.. 7 Legal Requirements for Reporting 9 Incapacitated Adults 10 Case Study.. 12 Post-Test.. 13 Module 2 Family Violence, Caregiver Abuse, and Sexual Assault. 15 Family Violence. 15 Caregiver Abuse 16 Sexual Assault.. 18 Signs of Abuse, Neglect, or Mistreatment.. 18 How Abusers May Exercise Power and Control. 19 Why People Do Not Report Abuse and Violence 22 Safety Planning. 23 Case Study.. 25 Post-Test.. 26 Module 3 First Response. 28 Improving First Response to Crime Victims.. 28 Tips for Responding to Crime Victims First Response to Deaf Crime Victims First Response to Older Crime Victims.. 34 Case Study.. 36 Post-Test.. 37

7 Module 4 Investigation.. 39 Dispelling the Myths of Victim Credibility. 39 Setting the Stage.. 44 Interviewing and Investigating Tips 45 Evidence Collection. 49 Writing Reports. 50 Case Study.. 52 Post-Test.. 53 Module 5 Accessible Response to People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults 55 Mental Illness 56 Cognitive Disabilities.. 59 Speech Disabilities 62 Physical Disabilities. 65 Blindness and Low Vision.. 66 Deafness and Hearing Loss 68 Deaf/Blind.. 71 Aging-Related Conditions 72 Case Study.. 79 Post-Test.. 80 References. 82 Appendix A Laws.. 87 B Resources. 95 C - Dispatcher Response D - Sample Communication Board 108 E - Power and Control Wheels 111

8 Introduction While police and sheriff departments have become more physically accessible since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, law enforcement budgets often lack adequate funds to train officers to work with people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults. The bulk of training budgets tend to focus on other compelling community concerns such as race issues, gangs, terrorism, responding to domestic disturbances, and the ongoing question of how to safely use force when apprehending offenders. These topics are unquestionably important. Research indicates a high rate of crimes perpetrated against people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults. For example, in 2006, there were 51,200 confirmed cases in Texas of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of people with disabilities or older adults. Because the average age of America s population is increasing rapidly, law enforcement agencies will likely serve a higher percentage of older adults in the near future. Greater numbers of older adults will witness crimes, testify in court, and become victims of criminal activity (Jordan, 2002). According to the U.S. Census (2002), more than two million adults over the age of 65 live in Texas. The occurrence and severity of elder mistreatment are likely to increase over the coming years as the population ages, caregiving responsibilities and relationships change, and increasing numbers of older persons require longterm care (Bonnie & Wallace, 2002). This curriculum provides education and tools to officers to effectively respond to and investigate crimes against older adults, deaf individuals, and people with disabilities. Its emphasis is on family violence, sexual assault, and caregiver abuse. This material is also pertinent to social workers, victim services, probation officers, and other personnel in the law enforcement community. It covers each role law enforcement plays in a case including first response, investigating, interviewing, collecting evidence, writing reports, and safety issues in the context of serving and protecting these three populations. Each module of this curriculum includes learning objectives covering the material, a case study with accompanying discussion questions, and a true/false post-test. This curriculum also includes a PowerPoint presentation for trainers. This curriculum may be submitted to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) for continuing education credits. (For more information, see the TCLEOSE website, or call (512) ) 1

9 Module 1 Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals, and Older Adults Learning Objectives After reading this module, law enforcement officers will be able to: 1. list some general characteristics of the U.S. population who have disabilities, are deaf, or are older adults; 2. discuss the prevalence of abuse of people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults; 3. state three barriers law enforcement may encounter in investigating crimes against these three populations; 4. discuss at least two ways to be more culturally competent; 5. paraphrase the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a person with a disability; 6. explain the purpose of the Older Americans Act; 7. discuss when to call Adult Protective Services or Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services; and 8. discuss when an adult might be considered incapacitated and who to call for help. Learning Objective One List some general characteristics of the U.S. population who have disabilities, are deaf, or are older adults. This curriculum provides law enforcement officers with additional skills in responding to and investigating crimes against older adults, people with disabilities, and deaf individuals, who together make up approximately one third of the U.S. population: 12% of the American population is over the age of 65; 42% of those reported a disability in the 2000 U.S. Census (U.S. Census, 2003). Approximately 20% of the U.S. population over five years of age has a significant disability that limits a major life activity, such as walking, dressing, taking care of daily needs, being able to see or speak, etc. (U.S. Census, 2003). Approximately % (between million) of Americans are deaf or hard of hearing (Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, personal communication, October 2006). People with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults are as varied and diverse as the rest of the population. They: 2

10 may be of any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, faith, or socioeconomic background. hold jobs, go to school, participate in sports, and may be crime victims and/or offenders. date, marry, have relationships, raise children, divorce, and unless prohibited from doing so by a parent, caregiver or legal guardian have lives that are involved with other people in many different ways. Disabilities can be visible or hidden, and acquired at birth or after birth as a result of injury, genetics, crime, or aging. People may have one or more disabilities, may have trouble walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, understanding, thinking, lifting, and carrying. Older adults may have no disabilities or live with a number of physical and mental consequences of aging. Some people with obvious disabilities may not have a name for their disability, or even think they have a disability. Definitions for this curriculum 1. People with disabilities includes people with physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental disabilities. These categories include such disabilities as spinal cord injuries, blindness or vision loss, brain injuries, depression, and bipolar disorder. 2. People who are deaf or hard of hearing includes people who were born deaf or hard of hearing and people who lost hearing as a result of aging, illness, or an accident. Deaf individuals may not hear anything at all or may have a limited ability to hear sounds, may use sign language to communicate, or use a hearing aid to amplify sounds. 3. Older adults refers to people above the age of 65. Older adults may have multiple disabilities or no disabilities at all. Note: Texas laws on abuse define an older adult as a person age 65 or older. However, agencies providing services to older adults and research studies may define the minimum age of an older adult between 50 and 65 years of age. Learning Objective Two Discuss the prevalence of abuse of people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults. Prevalence of Abuse While the few studies about crimes against people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults have tended to be small scale, the overwhelming consensus has been that people within these populations face high risks for crime, and have a low rate of reporting crimes. A variety of research studies report: In a Chicago study, more than one-fourth of persons with severe mental illness surveyed reported being victims of violent crime in the course of a year, a rate 11 times higher than that of the general population, according to 3

11 researchers at Northwestern University. In this study of 936 psychiatric aftercare patients in Chicago, participants with mental illness were at least eight times more likely to be robed, 15 times more likely to assaulted, and 23 times more likely to be raped than the general population (Teplin, McClelland, Abram, & Weiner, 2005, as cited in Levin, 2005). Of 100 women and girls with developmental disabilities who were sexually assaulted, a University of Alberta study found that 35% went unreported. Overall, convictions occurred in just 11% of the 100 cases studied (Sobsey, 2000). The incidence of sexual abuse of deaf or hard of hearing children is estimated to be 65-90% as compared to 10% for hearing boys and 25% for hearing girls (Center for Abuse Prevention and Education Deaf/Hard of Hearing, n.d.). In 2006, Adult Protective Services (APS) in Texas confirmed 51,200 cases of in-home abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults with disabilities and people over the age of 65. Only some 4.2% of those cases were reported by police to APS (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 2007). The National Elder Abuse Incident Study estimates that five times as many new incidences of abuse and neglect were not reported than were reported to and substantiated by Adult Protective Service Agencies in 1996 (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1998). Tracking Numbers Tracking the number of cases your law enforcement agency investigates involving crime victims with disabilities, older adults, and deaf individuals will allow your staff to plan accessible services, be proactive in serving all crime victims, and achieve better results in solving crimes. The data can also be used during the annual agency budgeting process to justify any needed architectural or service accommodations. In 1998, Public Law The Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act was passed to systematically gather information on crimes against people with disabilities. It was designed to measure the extent of the problem, and to develop strategies to address the safety and justice needs of victims of crime with disabilities. Learning Objective Three State three barriers law enforcement may encounter in investigating crimes against these three populations. Barriers to Investigations Police may encounter a number of social and institutional barriers when responding to crimes against people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults, including: society s tendency to trivialize serious crimes against these populations; 4

12 institutional resistance when investigating crimes in nursing homes, state hospitals, or group homes (i.e., the people who run the facility may wish to handle matters internally or assure police that the issue has been dealt with); the fact that state or local regulations allow some government-funded schools and institutions to conduct their own investigations. An entity regulating itself may focus more on protecting the institution s reputation than victim safety and criminal prosecution. Police officers are sometimes unofficially told to stay out of the way of other government agencies, such as departments of mental health or state schools; law enforcement staff who do not have training or experience with people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults may believe that these populations will lack credibility in court, or that the case will be too timeconsuming because of communication difficulties (Adapted in part from Sobsey, 1994.) Social stereotypes about sexuality, disability, and advanced age can be barriers to investigating and interpreting evidence when working with crime victims with disabilities and older adults. Such stereotypes include the belief that people with disabilities have no awareness of or interest in sexuality, and the belief that nobody would want to have sex with a person with a disability or an older adult. Sexual violence is a crime of power and not of physical attraction. Individual barriers to investigation may include: Communication difficulties when crime victims are deaf, hard of hearing, or whose disabilities impact speech or language. Sometimes these individuals are overlooked, ignored, or disbelieved because the abuser (or another person who may be protecting the abuser) can hear, speak, and communicate more effectively than they can. In addition, communication difficulties may lead to delayed reporting. Some older adults are so eager to please officers they may agree to things that are not true. Some deaf individuals and people with disabilities (particularly people with mental illness) may have had negative experiences with law enforcement officers in the past and may be mistrustful of law enforcement officers in general. These and other barriers will be discussed more fully in future modules. 5

13 Learning Objective Four Discuss at least two ways to be more culturally competent. Cultural Awareness There is no always in cultures or groups: People react in different ways. In some cultures, women of color are so marginalized that when law enforcement is called, they may think, Oh, no, a white person is coming, which may bring up a need to protect the batterer. A woman from a minority culture who also has a disability may be further marginalized within her community, but still feel the need to protect members from outsiders. A woman from a specific religious group may feel a stronger alliance with her congregation than she feels interest in reporting or following up on an assault or threat (Yasmin Turk, personal communication, 2006). Cultural Competence Be familiar with cultural influences in responding to crimes. A crime victim may have a disability or be deaf; may not speak English; or may be originally from another country, undocumented, a member of a minority group or a particular faith community. For example, in American culture, not looking somebody in the eye while talking can be a sign of not telling the truth. In other cultures, direct eye contact with an older adult, women, or person of authority is considered disrespectful. For deaf people, eye contact is very important in establishing rapport and trust. First response workers show cultural competence when they are familiar with the demographics of their work area, are proactive in learning the cultural norms of the people they routinely encounter, and remember to: speak directly to the crime victim, rather than speaking to a family member, staff member, sign language interpreter, or others; if possible, take time to establish rapport; know how to be courteous in a variety of cultures (i.e., giving proper greetings, allowing enough physical space); maintain calm, relaxed facial expressions and body language; provide information in the appropriate language; respect differences; and adapt services to fit the needs of various groups. (Adapted in part from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005, p. 25.) 6

14 Refugees and Immigrants A refugee is a person who flees to a foreign country for safety during times of war, political persecution, natural disaster, or other dangers. An immigrant is a person who comes to another country and is generally seeking permanent residence. Refugees and immigrants can be vulnerable to abuse or assault. Both may be undocumented and rightfully fear deportation, or may not be aware of their rights within the criminal justice system. An offender looks for the place of fear in the crime victim, and for many women from other countries that fear is deportation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the unfamiliar language. Some people have a fear of law enforcement due to negative experiences in their original country. In some cultures, people with disabilities are hidden away, or institutionalized, and have absolutely no legal rights. These victims may have a fear of returning to those conditions. When working with somebody whose language you do not speak, make sure to request a qualified interpreter in the crime victim s native language (including American Sign Language). Do not rely on neighbors, friends, staff, children, family, or a domestic partner or spouse, who may either be the perpetrator, may have a personal agenda, or may not be qualified to act as a professional, confidential, unbiased interpreter. Learning Objectives Five and Six Paraphrase the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a person with a disability. Explain the purpose of the Older Americans Act. Anti-Discrimination Laws Americans with Disabilities Act The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the civil rights law designed to ensure that people with disabilities are not discriminated against in employment, government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. The same services must be available to all people regardless of the existence or severity of any physical, sensory, cognitive, psychiatric, or other disability. Title II of the ADA applies to state and local government. According to the ADA, a person with a disability: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (defined as walking, caring for oneself, 7

15 seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or performing manual tasks); has a record of having such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. In addition to the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. Both of these federal laws require that law enforcement agencies provide equal opportunity to crime victims with disabilities in all programs, services, and activities. Law enforcement agencies are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where needed to accommodate crime victims who have a disability, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the agency s service, program, or activity (Office for Victims of Crime, 2002). Forms of discrimination include: failing to remove architectural barriers excluding a person for services based on disability providing lesser or fewer services because the person has a disability failing to modify policies, if necessary failing to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as American Sign Language interpreters Despite these laws, many public agencies and services are still not accessible. Older Americans Act For nearly forty years, the Older Americans Act has protected older adults in this country. When the Act was reauthorized in 1992, Congress created and funded a new law, Title VII, Chapter 3, for prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The Older Americans Act provides grants to states for community planning and services, nutrition programs, and in-home services. The Act, which was most recently amended in 2006, includes funding for detection, intervention, investigation, and response to elder abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). In 2001, the ombudsmen investigated 264,269 complaints against nursing homes and other adult care facilities (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2006). 8

16 Learning Objective Seven Discuss when to call Adult Protective Services or Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Legal Requirements for Reporting In Texas, everyone is required to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person with a disability who is 18 years of age or older, or of an adult who is 65 years of age or older. Having knowledge of, but not reporting, suspected abuse is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. In other states, this may differ. The state agencies that investigate crimes against these populations are Adult Protective Services (APS) (a program of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services) and Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). Within 24 hours of receipt of a report of abuse or neglect or other complaint to APS or DADS, the department or designated agency is instructed to report the complaint to and investigate jointly with the pertinent municipal or sheriff s law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency also must begin the joint investigation within 24 hours of receipt of the report or complaint, must cooperate with the designated agency (APS or DADS), and report back the results of the investigation. If law enforcement officers receive the first report of abuse or neglect, they can refer the report to APS or DADS for coordination of the investigation. This structure creates a need for systems to exist between APS, DADS, and local law enforcement that ensure effective communication, cooperation, case building, and intervention for crime victims (Human Resources Code ). Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services In Texas, suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation is investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) through Adult Protective Services (APS) and Child Protective Services (CPS), and by Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). The chart below explains which agency to call in what circumstance. When in doubt, call the 24-hour Texas Department of Family and Protective Services number listed below. 9

17 Agency to Call for Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation When person with disability, deaf person, or older adult: TDFPS (APS) Lives in own home X Lives in room and board X Lives in intermediate care facilities for persons with mental X retardation (ICF/MR) Is a resident of state school or state hospital X Is homeless X Lives in assisted living home Lives in nursing home DADS X X To make a report of suspected abuse to TDFPS (APS), call the 24-hour hotline at (800) or report online at Visit the TDFPS website at for more information. To make a report of suspected abuse to DADS, call the statewide toll-free number at (800) Visit the DADS website at for more information. Some of the facilities authorized by the Texas Legislature to conduct internal investigations include the Texas School for the Deaf and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. A designated staff member conducts the investigation and makes a report of her/his findings. Learning Objective Eight Discuss when an adult might be considered incapacitated and who to call for help. Incapacitated Adults A crime victim may show signs of incapacity. The definition of incapacity of an adult is: an adult individual who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, to care for the individual's own physical health, or to manage the individual's own financial affairs; or a person who must have a guardian appointed to receive funds due the person from any governmental source (Texas Probate Code 601). 10

18 A physician or psychiatrist determines incapacity in Texas. If an incapacitated crime victim refuses to leave an unsafe living environment, and there is no legal guardian to provide consent (the authority of the guardian is sometimes limited in this area), the situation will require potential removal through APS intervention, a mental health commitment, or an order of protective custody. When the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services or Adult Protective Services determines that: an older adult or person with a disability is experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation that presents a threat to life or physical safety, the person lacks capacity to consent to receive protective services, and no consent can be obtained, the department may petition the court for an emergency order authorizing protective services. If the department cannot obtain an emergency order under this section because the court is closed on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday or after 5 p.m., the department may remove the older adult or person with a disability to safer surroundings, authorize medical treatment, or order or provide other available services necessary to remove the threat to life or physical safety. (Adapted from Texas Human Resources Code, , Emergency Order for Protective Services.) If the person needs round-the-clock personal care, call: The Eldercare Locator at (800) or Staff will assist in finding the Area Agency on Aging that serves your county. Call 211 for general referral assistance in each local Texas community. If the 211 number does not work from a cell phone or office, an alternate access number is (877) You can also get information from the 211 website, 11

19 Case Study Module 1 Michelle, who is in her mid-20 s, has cerebral palsy and a communication disability. She lives in a group home and works nearby in a clothing store in the afternoon. A new group home driver, Jeff, has been friendly with her when he takes her to work. One day, Jeff gave Michelle a CD of one of her favorite singers. The next week, on the way home from work, Jeff stopped at the park. While he was helping her out of the van, he ran his hand up her leg. Jeff told her that going to the park was their secret, and not to say anything to anybody. Michelle promised. Over time, Jeff brought Michelle more presents and gradually increased their sexual contact. Michelle was confused and a little anxious, but she liked Jeff and did not want to lose him as a friend. Eventually, though, Jeff started pushing her into doing things that made her afraid and uncomfortable. One weekend, Michelle talked to her mother (who is her legal guardian) about her relationship with Jeff. Michelle s mother immediately called the owner of the group home, and Jeff was fired. The group home owner tried to discourage Michelle s mother from calling the police, saying they had already handled the issue, but she insisted. When the detective came to interview Michelle, the owner of the group home asked to be part of the interview. Case Study Discussion Guide Module 1 1. What barriers might the detective face in investigating this crime? 2. How would you address those challenges and barriers? 3. Should the detective allow the group home owner to be part of the interview process? Why or why not? 12

20 Post-Test Module 1 Answer true or false to the following questions: 1. In the U.S., approximately one-third of the population is over the age of 65, has a disability, or is deaf or hard of hearing. 2. People with disabilities and deaf individuals may be any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, faith, or socioeconomic background. 3. People with disabilities have the same risk of being crime victims as the general population. 4. Three barriers to investigating crimes against people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults at state and private facilities such as a nursing homes and state hospitals include: a. resistance of institutional management to law enforcement involvement; b. society s tendency to trivialize crimes against people with disabilities, deaf individuals, and older adults; and c. lack of training and familiarity in working with these populations. 5. One way for law enforcement officers to become culturally competent is to become familiar with the cultural norms of the people they routinely encounter in their work. 6. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, public agencies, buildings, and services such as police departments are all fully accessible to people with disabilities and deaf individuals. 7. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) investigates reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in assisted living homes and nursing homes. 8. To report suspected abuse of a person with a disability or adult over the age of 65 who lives in her or his own home, call Adult Protective Services (APS) at (800) In Texas, a brief definition of incapacity in an adult is someone who because of a physical or mental condition is unable to provide food, clothing or shelter for herself/himself, to care for her/his own physical health, or to manage financial affairs. 10. In Texas, incapacity can be determined by a law enforcement officer. 13

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