#AdvocacyMatters: Uplifting voices, envisioning outcomes

March 11, 2022 / #AdvocacyMatters

In the midst of a crisis, as help is needed the most, the bright lights, loud sirens, and armed presence of responding authorities can create a traumatic, unnecessary escalation. Help in these situations isn’t delivered through handcuffs or threats of detention, but through listening and understanding. We believe it’s long past time to reevaluate, renew, and reengineer our systems of emergency response.

In late 2020, Disability Rights Ohio released Policing and Racial Injustice: A Disability Rights Perspective, a policy report examining the ways police use of force has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities. Our research indicated that people with disabilities are more likely to be victims of police brutality. Despite representing only 20 percent of the population, those with disabilities make up 30 to 50 percent of individuals subject to police use of force. An estimated one-third to one-half of people killed by police are people with disabilities. Additionally, the risk of being subjected to police violence increases as disability intersects with race, class, gender, and LGBTQ+ status.

We believe in an alternative form of crisis response that takes police officers out of the equation in favor of a model centered on community-based response. By uplifting the voices of BIPOC individuals who have been harmed by police-based crisis response, we hope to make meaningful change in the way these situations are handled within our communities. Firm in our belief that shared experiences foster understanding and change, we want to have conversations and listen to their stories of encounters with police during a crisis and harmful outcomes due to the response.

Those who are willing to share their experiences with our team in order to bring about this change should click here to for more information. It is only by recognizing and amplifying the lived experiences of others that – collectively – we can realize this change. #AdvocacyMatters most when we partner for good, and the creation of safer, equitable communities is a cause that deserves action.

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