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CAC Corner: Safety Training for Everyone

Marilyn Hammond


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classroom training
Safety training has been presented to about 200 self-advocates in Utah.

Everyone has the right to be safe. While anyone may become a victim of crime, unfortunately people with developmental disabilities are at a higher risk. They may face barriers in protecting themselves, reporting abuse, and accessing services.

The Utah Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council, the Disability Law Center and the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University are collaborating on a project to educate self-advocates, care providers, parents, and first responders about how to prevent, recognize, and appropriately respond to financial, physical, verbal and sexual abuse.  Trainers include self-advocates, the Utah Domestic Violence Council, the Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault, and the Utah Disability Law Center.  The training for People First groups was developed by the Pennsylvania (PA) Coalition against Rape, the PA DD Council and Temple University.

So far, the training has been presented to about 200 self-advocates through People First Groups and Centers for Independent Living in Utah, with positive evaluations.  If you would like more information, or to schedule training for a People First Group, Center for Independent Living, or for agency staff serving people with developmental disabilities, please contact Marilyn Hammond at 435-797-3811 or

Some helpful tips from the training are shown below.

Keeping Your Money and Stuff Safe

  • Allow only people you trust to use your things or borrow money.
  • Don’t lend money or your things to someone who doesn’t pay or give it back.
  • Don’t trust anyone you only know through the internet.
  • Never give money or personal information (such as your social security number) to anyone who phones, knocks at your door, emails or texts.
  • Keep your money, credit cards, valuables and personal information close to you and hidden from plain sight.  Protect your social security number.
  • Say “No” if someone takes your money or things. Say “No” if someone asks to borrow your money or things and you don’t want them to.
  • Label your things with your name, phone number and address.
  • Keep a list of your things on a piece of paper or on your computer and share it with someone you trust.

 If You Need Help

  • If you don’t like what someone is doing, you have the right to say “No” and to leave.
  • If you are in a dangerous situation, yell, throw things, run, or fight; this is not a time to be nice.
  • If someone hurts you or takes your money or things, tell someone you trust, such a friend, teacher, parent, doctor, nurse, church leader or staff member.
  • You can also tell the police.
  • Talk to your bank, credit card companies or the Social Security Administration if there is a money problem.
  • Continue to tell people until someone helps you and you feel safe.
  • If you are being hurt, or have been hurt, please call or talk with your DSPD Support Coordinator, Adult Protective Services at 800-371-7897, Rape Crisis at 888-421-1100, or Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-897-5465.
  • The most important thing to remember is that it is not your fault if you are abused.  Abuse is always the abuser’s fault.

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