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New Group To Serve Ohio Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities

Toby Paine an investigator with the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Toby works closely with Columbus Police Department and has her office in their downtown Columbus headquarters. February 20 , 2020. (Eric Albrecht/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new organization is aimed at serving Ohio adults with disabilities who are victims of crime or witnesses of abuse, maltreatment or neglect.

Adult Advocacy Centers will develop one-stop centers to help people with disabilities that are coordinated with law enforcement, medical professionals, case managers and others, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

“Crime victims with disability has been an issue without the proper supports, without the proper interview techniques and without the proper services,” Katherine Yoder, Adult Advocacy Centers executive director, told the paper. “Prosecution rates are really dismal.”

The response from disability services professionals, law enforcement officers and the medical community to Adult Advocacy Centers has been overwhelmingly positive, Yoder said.

A recent survey by the group of Ohio county boards of developmental disabilities found of the 35 responses, just 17% reported that crimes against people with disabilities are regularly taken to a grand jury in their county.

About half said a lack of resources is the biggest barrier to providing crime-victim services to people with disabilities.

“It just seems like it never makes it to prosecution,” Melody Burba, a Dayton-area resident who is an advocate for herself and others with developmental disabilities, told the paper.

In Columbus, the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities is the only public agency in Ohio and among the few nationally with an investigator who works alongside city police.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve advanced miles in the number of cases investigated,” said Toby Paine, a board of disabilities investigator with a desk at the Columbus Division of Police. “It’s a priceless partnership.”


The post New Group To Serve Ohio Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities appeared first on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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