1. Introduction

My name is Mary Lou Bensy, and I am a Doctoral Student and researcher at Hofstra University, located in New York. As part of my Doctoral Dissertation, this ground-breaking research and survey is being conducted to help us learn more about the sexual harassment and abuse of special education students in schools. We need this vital information to help protect this victimized population. The survey is designed primarily to gather information on individuals with disabilities who have ever been sexually abused in school.

Parents, guardians, advocates and caregivers of students with disabilities are asked to respond on behalf of ONE victimized student per survey. If an individual chooses to respond on behalf of more than one student, he/she can feel free to take the survey more than once. Adult survivors are asked to complete the survey for themselves.

At the beginning of the survey, you will be asked to answer questions about the student on whose behalf you are completing the survey. Then there will be questions about different kinds of sexual harassment and abuse that may have occurred. If you responded 'yes' to one of those types of abuse, you will automatically be asked to answer additional questions about that particular abusive experience. This survey is anonymous, so no one will know who the survey taker is. I do not ask for your name or contact information, or that of the victim, on this survey. When I report my research results, it will be done with no identifiable information from individual participants.

I know that many of these questions may be painful to answer, but please be as honest as you can in answering them. Please be sure to mark all responses that apply for each question. You can skip most questions that you do not want to answer. Your patience in completing this survey is very much appreciated.

Please understand that this research is not designed to provide therapeutic intervention or follow-up for the responder or the victim. If you feel the need for professional assistance on behalf of yourself or the victim, there is a link, at the end of the survey, to a list of resources available to you. To protect your anonymity, and that of the victim, please do not make an effort to reach me by phone or email.

To begin taking the survey, please click on the ‘next’ button below, which indicates that you are willing to participate, and understand that anonymity will be protected to the extent possible by law.

Thank you for taking part in this very important study.

4% of survey complete.