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Sexual abuse and intellectual disability: Creating a context for change

Written Material

In an extremely forthright article, Horsley asks the rhetorical questions "How has violence remained so acceptable and so entrenched in the lives of most disabled people?" and "Why has the legal system and government services continued to fail people with disabilities?". After detailing this, Horsley documents some of the changes that need to occur as well as what is already being done, to make sure people with intellectual disabilities understand what sexual abuse is, understand that they can report it and also making sure that the legal system changes so that victims of crime truly have access to justice (she concentrates on Victoria). She also documents myths about people with intellectual disabilities and sexual abuse, such as "they are safe because they are not attractive" - all of which are in turn linked to the myth that sexual abuse is about sex, when it is really about power, violence and control. Keyword: Attitudes

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Horsley, Philomena
Living with Disability Volume 15
Publication Date
1 January 1970

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