The #MeToo movement has brought the voices of victims of sexual assault into the public’s eye and, in turn, into the legal system. As its name suggests, the movement’s strength lies in numbers—it is, after all, hard to ignore the collective voices of a group of considerable size and visibility. This Article argues that another group of victims—namely, victims who have mental disabilities— also are desperately in need of their own movement to raise public awareness and bring about reform. However, because of their cognitive and communication impairments, this group of victims is unlikely to effectuate reform itself. Instead, these victims rely on the criminal justice system to effectuate change on their behalf. Their needs are great: More vulnerable to crime, this group is victimized at a rate at least four times greater than the general population. Yet crimes against this group rarely are referred for prosecution, let alone successfully prosecuted. Instead, this group faces myriad barriers to participation throughout the criminal justice process, starting from the time at which they attempt to report a crime. Designed to meet the needs and capabilities of typically functioning victims, the system does little to meet the cognitive and communication needs of those with mental disabilities. This Article proposes that the criminal justice system take ownership of this problem by providing much-needed accommodations to victims with mental disabilities.



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