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Sexual abuse involving children with an intellectual disability (ID): A narrative review

This paper contains a narrative review of the literature on sexual abuse, involving children with Intellectual Disability (ID).

 For this research the thirteen articles that were found and met our criteria vary in their definitions of sexual abuse and in how ID was determined. Several databases (PsycINFO, Web of Knowledge, GoogleScholar and Google) were used to search for relevant publications. Different terms were used in this search to find as many publications as possible from different disciplines and scientific backgrounds

Research findings confirm the greater vulnerability of children with ID to become involved in sexual abuse both as a victim and as a perpetrator, and in the discussion session, researcher tries to find ways to help strengthening prevention and intervention methods. There is still much to learn about the sexual development and sexual behaviour of children with ID.

Nevertheless, more research is needed, as it is still a rather unexplored topic, which is striking in light of the high vulnerability of this group. Most of the studies on sexual abuse of children with ID we found were quantitative in nature. Qualitative research could provide more information about the situation of the abuse itself, about what has happened, about how the abuse started and about the development from there, about how children report of being pressured or seduced or, in other words, about how the abuse could have happened. These qualitative descriptions could provide additional insight into how sexual abuse of children with ID can be prevented better in the future


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