People with Disabilities



The risk of being physically or sexually assaulted for adults with developmental disabilities is up to 10 times higher than other adults. Research shows that 97–99% of abusers are known and trusted by the survivor who has an intellectual disability. One study indicated that hard-of-hearing and deaf individuals are 1.5 times more likely to be survivors of relationship violence in their lifetime. Students with disabilities experience assault at twice the rate of students without disabilities.


Challenges to Reporting and Seeking Support

  • Lack of accessible and comprehensive services
  • Lack of familiarity with the systems that provide resources and support
  • Embarrassment, shame, and guilt
  • Difficulty understanding and/or communicating what happened
  • Fear of retaliation or threats by the abuser

Campus and Community Resources

  • Confidential DU Resources

    DU Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE)

    Free and confidential advocacy and support for survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment.

    • Business hours phone: 303-871-3853
    • 24/7 Counselor on Call: 303-871-2205
    • Email:
    • Address: 1981 S University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210

    DU Health & Counseling Center

    Confidential medical and mental health services.

    • Phone: 303-871-2205
    • 24/7 Counselor on Call: 303-871-2205
    • Email:
  • Non-Confidential DU Resources
  • Community/National Resources

    The Initiative

    Previously known as the Domestic Violence Initiative or DVI, The Initiative advocates for persons with disabilities who are survivors of abuse. Through direct services and outreach program, they strive to create an abuse-free culture for all.

    • 303-839-5510

    DOVE (Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment)

    DOVE works to end domestic violence and sexual assault in the Colorado deaf community through collaborating, educating, and advocating.


    The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network is a national rape crisis support service offering an anonymous hotline and online chat.

    • 24/7 hotline: 1-800-656-4673

    National Disability Rights Network

    The National Disability Rights Network investigates reports of abuse and neglect, seeks systemic change to prevent further incidents, advocates for basic rights, and ensures accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems for individuals with disabilities.