Partner Guide: Leadership & Empowerment for
Abuse Prevention (LEAP) 


Thank you for your interest in preventing abuse for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This guide is for family or support providers of a person with a disability who has participated in LEAP training. It is intended to accompany a video which may be found on this website. It is important that people with IDD learn strategies to prevent abuse because people with IDD are 3 - 5 times more likely to experience abuse than the general population (Smith, N., Harrell, S., & Judy, A. (2017). How Safe are Americans with Disabilities? The facts about violent crime and their implications (Publication). New York: The Vera Institute of Justice.) 

What is LEAP?

LEAP stands for Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention and provides training on healthy relationships and information about preventing abuse for adults with IDD. One of the best ways to prevent abuse is the ability to identify unhealthy relationships. LEAP trainers teach participants about:

  • what it means to trust someone and who should be trusted;
  • healthy, unhealthy, and confusing relationships;
  • asking permission before touching;
  • different ways to say “no”;
  • identifying feelings and physical signs associated with being uncomfortable; and
  • how to get help.

What is the purpose of the guide?

We know that adults with IDD learn new information better when they learn concepts over time. As a supporter, you can reinforce these important points so that the people who you support can continue to learn after they participate in LEAP training. This guide explains LEAP and how you can promote practicing the main points taught in the training with the people who you support. 

How can I help?

Review the partner guide and videos to learn how you can reinforce the main points from the LEAP training. 

Developed by the Partnership for People with Disabilities and the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019. For more information, please contact