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Domestic Violence and Disability Awareness Day will be observed Monday [OCT. 18] with informational booths and a seminar at East Central University.

October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Disability Awareness Month. In addition, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ECU's Campus Initiative to Reduce Crime Against Women [CIRCAW], Disability Services, The Black Thread Society and the Student Rehabilitation Association have united to sponsor "Domestic Violence and Disability Awareness Day" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bill S. Cole University Center.

Beginning 9 a.m. in the University Center Atrium, those programs and organizations will have booths with information and give-aways. In addition, the ECU Senior Nursing Program, Family Crisis Center, the Chickasaw Nation Safe and Stable Families, Pontotoc County District Attorney's Office and the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery will have informational booths and displays.

A seminar on "Individuals with Disabilities" at 11 a.m. will be repeated at noon and 1 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center by Shelly Collins, disability coordinator with the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault headquartered in Oklahoma City.

"We invite the community to take an active part in Domestic Violence and Disability Awareness Day on Monday," said Charlotte Jones, director of the CIRCAW program. "Visit the information booths and attend one of the three seminars. There will be one from noon to 1 p.m. if anyone wants to come during their lunch hour."

Johns cited these facts from the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime:

  • Compared to women without disabilities, women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence and for more extended periods of time.
  • About 85 percent of women with disabilities have experienced domestic violence.
  • Adults with developmental disabilities have four to10 times the risk of physical and sexual abuse.
  • In a national sample of women with physical disabilities, 62 percent reported having experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
  • More than half of all abuse of people with disabilities is estimated to be perpetrated by family members and peers with disabilities.

For more information, contact Johns at the CIRCAW office at 580-559-5892.

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