Abused and Betrayed: People with Intellectual Disabilities and an Epidemic of Sexual Assault

A NPR Special Series

January 8, 2018

At a moment of reckoning in the United States about sexual harassment and sexual assault, a yearlong NPR investigation finds that there's little recognition of a group of Americans that is one of the most at risk: adults with intellectual disabilities. The series starts on Monday, January 8 and runs through January 18th.


  • Jan 8: Morning Edition. Correspondent Joe Shapiro talks about the series with host Steve Inskeep. - Listen
  • Jan 8: All Things Considered: The epidemic of sexual abuse of people with intellectual disabilities. Numbers obtained by NPR show they are sexually assaulted at rates more than 7 times those for all adults without disabilities. - Listen
  • Jan 9: Morning Edition: A visit to a Sex Ed class for people with intellectual disabilities. They talk about how they want relationships, but how the sexual violence of their past often gets in the way.  - Listen
  • Jan 10: All Things Considered: On cases that go unnoticed when people have difficulty communicating. - Listen
  • Jan 16: All Things Considered: Police and prosecutors are often reluctant to take these cases. NPR goes back to Essex County, New Jersey, where the first case to get widespread attention--in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, 25 years ago--was prosecuted. And look at what prosecutors have learned since.
    - Listen
  • Jan 18: Morning Edition: Therapists Nora Baladerian and Karyn Harvey talk about the stunning violence in the lives of their clients. - Listen
  • Jan 18: All Things Considered: Self-advocates speak--thoughtfully--of the effects of sexual violence. This piece is entirely in the voices of people with intellectual disabilities (plus Joe Shapiro). 

There will be print stories (with photos and art) on-line at npr.org. And the radio stories can be heard there.