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Presidential Candidates & Preventing Attacks on People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Feb. 2 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 6 in the Questionnaire was: “People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime as those without disabilities. This includes the fact that both children and adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault. How would you address these issues?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

close-up of pete buttigieg's face

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

“The rates of people with disabilities who are victims of rape and sexual assault are absolutely unacceptable, and my administration will take several steps to dramatically reduce crime against people with disabilities. First, my administration will invest $10 billion over ten years to end workplace sexual harassment and discrimination against women, especially women with disabilities, by increasing accountability and prevention.”

Read the full response (Question 6)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

“Senator Klobuchar believes we must do more to protect Americans with disabilities. As President, Senator Klobuchar will prioritize strong enforcement of civil rights legislation, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and she will support full funding and staffing for the various Offices of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section offices to ensure disability cases are fully investigated.”

Read the full response (Question 6)

headshot of Amy Klobuchar smiling

close-up of Bernie Sanders smiling while wearing a suit and a tie

Sen. Bernie Sanders

“We must work to end the epidemic of violence against people with disabilities in this country and support survivors of violent crimes. Bernie will provide justice and support to crime survivors, and to interrupt the cycle of violence so that there are fewer crime victims in the future, requires a realignment of policing priorities and deep investments to get survivors the support that they need.”

Read the full response (Question 6)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“People with disabilities deserve to live their lives free from violence, including sexual violence. As a senator and presidential candidate, it’s my responsibility to promote policies that reduce rates of rape and sexual assault, provide survivors with the resources they need, and hold perpetrators accountable. I have consistently supported federal programs, including those authorized by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Violence Against Women Act, that support domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their families.”

Read the full response (Question 6)

Elizabeth Warren smiling wearing a blue suit

close up of Andrew Yang smiling wearing a white collared shirt and gray suit jacket

Mr. Andrew Yang

“Educators, employers, caregivers, and any other individuals who are responsible for the safety of people with disabilities should be acutely aware of the risk of violence and sexual assault that people with disabilities face. These individuals should receive extensive training on how to recognize any signs and symptoms of abuse, know how to teach preventative measures to avoid increased risk, and know how to appropriately respond to any reports of abuse.”

Read the full response (Question 6)

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls. RespectAbility has reached out to all of the presidential campaigns and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. View more coverage of 2020 presidential candidates. 

Published in2020 CampaignAmy KlobucharAndrew YangBernie SandersDemocratsElizabeth WarrenPete Buttigieg

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