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Invisible victims: sexual assault of people with an intellectual disability

Written Material

People with intellectual disability are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault. This is mainly due to a false set of assumptions about 'intellectual disability' but also about sexuality and people with an intellectual disability. This has led to inadequate education for people about their own sexual feelings, their rights to choose or not to choose partners, a lack of opportunity to develop a sexual identity (due to the fact that most people with intellectual disability lead segregated and restricted lives which creates dependence upon caregivers and family and a lack of contact with people of their own choosing), and uncertainty about what is acceptable behaviour from other people. Education is needed if people are to be protected from sexual assault. The increased vulnerability is compounded by the fact that the criminal justice system does not deal adequately with victims of sexual assault. Consequently even when crimes are reported, justice is not served. Keyword: Legal

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Carmody, Moira
Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities Volume 17 Number 2
Publication Date
1 January 1991

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