Students with Disabilities

Research has shown that people with disabilities and hard of hearing individuals experience violence at extremely high rates, and in different ways from their peers without disabilities. It has also shown that people with disabilities and hard of hearing individuals have limited access to vital safety and support services offered by social service organizations and the criminal justice system. SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to serving people with disabilities by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies.


The risk of being physically or sexually assaulted for adults with developmental disabilities is 4 to 10 times higher compared to other adults.

-Sobsey, D. (1994). Violence and abuse in the lives of people with disabilities: The end of silent acceptance? Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

In one study, the rate of repeat sexual abuse among women with developmental disabilities was found to be at more than 70%.

-Sobsey, D. and T. Doe. 1991. "Patterns of Sexual Abuse and Assault," Journal of Sexuality and Disability, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 243-59.

Research suggests that 97% to 99% of abusers are known and trusted by the victim/survivor who has an intellectual disability. Of those, 32% were family members or acquaintances and 44% had a relationship with the victim/survivor specifically related to the person’s disability (such as a residential care staff, transportation provider or personal care attendant).

-Baladerian, N. Sexual Abuse of People with Developmental Disabilities. Sexuality and Disability, 9 (4), 323-335. 1991.


All survivors that use SHARPP services have the right to respectful treatment of confidential information. All information and records pertaining to you will be kept confidential in accordance with NH RSA 173-C;

SHARPP is located at Wolff house, a wheelchair accessible building next to Health and Wellness.

Sign Language Interpreters are available free of charge to those who may need them. If possible, advance notice is preferred though accommodations can be made in an emergency situation.

Our crisis hotline 603-862-7233 is compatible with NH Relay services. The statewide number is 7-1-1. You will be connected with a call center that will ask if you would like to be connected with an advocate and will ask for your phone number. Please let them know for the advocate to call you back with the NH Relay service. You can also ask for them to patch you directly through to an advocate. Relay New Hampshire TTY instructions can be found here.

People with severe intellectual disabilities may not understand what is happening or have no way to communicate the assault to a trusted person. Others with a less severe disability may realize they are being assaulted, but don’t know that it’s illegal and that they have a right to say no. Due to threats to their well-being or that of their loved ones by the abuser, they may never tell anyone about the abuse, especially if committed by an authority figure whom they learn not to question.

UNH Resources

Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) 603-862-3494

SHARPP works to eliminate sexual and intimate partner violence. SHARPP's mission is accomplished in two parts: by providing free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies; and by offering culturally competent awareness and prevention programs to the University of New Hampshire community.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) 603-862-2607

Promoting the development of student self-reliance and the personal independence necessary to succeed in a university climate. We seek to create a comprehensively accessible environment where students are viewed on a basis of ability, not disability.

Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) 603-862-2090

PACS is committed to serving UNH’s diverse campus community by providing students with support and education for their person and academic success through confidential counseling, psychiatric consultation, and outreach and prevention services.

Affirmative Action and Equity Office 603-862-2930

Responsible for oversight of the University’s compliance efforts in regard to affirmative action, Title IX, disability laws and regulations, equal employment laws, and campus initiatives aimed at creating a diverse, welcoming and equitable campus.

To see a list of other places SHARPP refers to check out

National Resources

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

(NSVRC) The NSVRC’s Mission is to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research. We envision a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are treated with dignity and respect and have full autonomy over their own bodies and sexual expression. The NSVRC has a selection of publications on sexual victimization within this community. They can be located here:

The Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence

A National Resource Center project offers information on the Internet for the benefit of those interested in providing effective workplace responses to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking. They have a good section of information for domestic and sexual violence within this community. This can be located here:

The Arc

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. A good location for more information on sexual violence within people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities:

Created in collaboration with: The President’s Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities