Because violence against people with disabilities is often shrouded in silence, the community of support for people with disabilities remains inaccessible. With limited awareness and advocacy, state and federal lawmakers are not motivated to address violence against people with disabilities through either resources or policy. Also, while there are organizations that work with people with disabilities and those that work with survivors of abuse, few organizations see their role as specifically working with survivors who have disabilities. As a result, no one person or organization has what it takes to address a problem as pervasive and entrenched as the abuse of people with disabilities. Because of paternalistic attitudes and the pervasive invisibility and segregation of people with disabilities in society, many efforts aimed at benefiting people with disabilities—historically and contemporaneously—have failed to include or engage people with disabilities in meaningful ways. Self-advocates—people with disabilities organized to educate the community about issues that affect them and shape efforts to address them—have yet to be involved in this work.

By creating a cohesive and unified movement, CVS aims to help strengthen and harness the field’s collective power, expertise, and innovative ideas to better strengthen our communities. The NoVo Foundation—a philanthropic organization dedicated to building a more just and balanced world, with a core priority of ending violence against women and girls—is supporting this effort with a three-year $450,000 grant.