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The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation and Oak Hill’s Center for Relationship and Sexual Education Announce Partnership to Help Combat Sexual Assault Against Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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Aiming to help combat sexual assault against individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation today announced that it has awarded a $100,000 grant to Oak Hill’s Center for Relationship and Sexuality Education (CRSE).

Last year NPR reported that U.S. Department of Justice data show that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than that for people without disabilities. 

Oak Hill’s CRSE is focused on providing access to sexual health and safe relationship education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With support from the Foundation, CRSE will create a free online guide to accompany its workbook series on safe relationships to help direct support professional support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they gain the knowledge and resources they need to engage in safe, meaningful and healthy relationships.

“We are pleased to partner with The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation to address the epidemic of sexual assault faced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Barry M. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oak Hill. “By working at the provider level, we can reach thousands and facilitate safe, healthy relationships for this population that needs this support the most. This grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will allow us to significantly expand the reach and, we hope, the impact of our education materials.”

“We are proud to partner with CRSE and support their innovative program to help prevent sexual assault against individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Bruce Nardella, Chairman of The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation and President and CEO of The MENTOR Network. “CRSE has developed an impressive and much-needed curriculum to support greater understanding of healthy and safe relationships, and we are very happy to promote its expansion.”

The direct support professional online guide is anticipated to be completed in spring 2021. The workbooks, on which the curriculum is based, will be available to the public soon as a free download at http://relationshipandsexuality.oakhillct.org/workbooks/.

About The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation works to build on The MENTOR Network’s innovative approach to human services by seeking new solutions and creative ideas for enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries, youth facing emotional, behavioral and other challenges, and elders in need of support. The Foundation is The MENTOR Network’s commitment to nurturing the excellence and innovation that ensures such environments—for the populations served by The Network, for our employees and for society as a whole. To learn more, please visit networkcharitablefoundation.org

 

About Oak Hill’s Center for Relationship and Sexual Education

Oak Hill is Connecticut’s largest private provider for people with disabilities, working to break down barriers to independence for the past 125 years. Oak Hill’s mission is to set the standard, partnering with people with disabilities, to provide services and solutions promoting independence, education, health and dignity. Oak Hill programs support people of all ages, for all levels of need. For up-to-date information about Oak Hill, please visit https://oakhillct.org/, www.facebook.com/CIBOakHill, and on Twitter at @OakHillCT. Oak Hill is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) organization.